Do you ever suddenly realize that you view the world in a way that is altogether not ... normal? I'm not asking if you march to the beat of a different drummer; we all do, to some extent, some of us more than others. But do you ever realize that a behavior or a thought process that you thought was normal ... isn't normal after all? That maybe there's even a DSM-IV-TR write-up on it?
Or this: you think you're unique, and then you learn about personality types or right-brain/left-brain studies and learn that your unique way of thinking actually fits into a defined pattern that you share with any number of other human beings. It's humbling, but it's also a bit of a relief, isn't it, to find out that there are others like you. That's how I felt when I learned I was an INFP.
I'm writing today to find out how many of you share a strange quirk that I have, one I was never actually aware of until I thought about it. What prompted the old noggin into thinking about it was a segment of Primetime's "Medical Mysteries" on the neurological condition of synaesthesia. (Wikipedia entry here).
A person with synaesthesia basically couples two senses together. I'd heard of this condition before, but only in the context of music: for some people, an A-major chord will have a yellow quality, while a B-flat note will be imbued with blue-green sense of longing. Weird, I know. I've always thought it a strange but interesting condition, one that I definitely didn't have.
Primetime did a story on the musical synaesthesia (actually called "music-color synaesthesia"), but they also did one on grapheme-lexical synaesthesia, where a person sees letters and numbers as having different colors. There's also something called "ordinal linguistic personification," where numbers, days of the week, and days of the month seem to possess specific personalities.
OK. The music-color thing is weird. But I have always associated numbers and letters with specific colors and personalities. And days of the week with particular personalities and mind-symbols. I don't know if I'm a true "synaesthete," but the grapheme-lexical thinking patterns, as explained on Primetime, sounded very familiar.
I think it's part of why I'm so good at memorizing dates and number-sequences, and why I've always been so horrible at math. If you combine a green number with a yellow number, then you get a greenish-yellow number. Add some red, and you end up with something mottled or something greenish-orange, depending on which numbers are involved. That's how I remember numbers and dates. I associate them with their colors. Letters have colors and personalities, too. It's a little jarring to see the red "J"-looking symbol on a Jiffy Lube sign because the J in my head has always been deep royal purple.
Please, if you also do this, let me know. I've brought the subject up with several friends and family members, and they just shake their heads and look at me like I'm a creature from outer space. Or the local mental hospital.
So, do you associate numbers and letters with colors? Musical notes with colors? Words with taste? Do you find Monday to be a rather flippant youngster, and Thursday to be an overprotective mom-type? Or do those days evoke other personalities for you? Do tell!
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