What’s your superpower?

by Pauline on February 14th 2016

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 20.13.16In my last post, I introduced a monthly blog post – < STYLE > – I will be trying to do in order to blog more frequently, today I’ll be introducing another one I’ve named: “myoSINcerely, P.” For those who don’t understand the name, let me explain!

Myosin is a protein in muscles that allow you to move the muscles in your body (with the help of a short-term relationship with actin, another protein in your muscles) whether that be stretching towards your charger because your phone has hit 3% or accidentally spilling your cup of tea all over your outfit before you have to leave the house.

It’s basically pretty important in muscle contraction and movement. I wanted the blog post title to be a catchy phrase and so after much thought came up with “myoSINcerely, P”.

As you’ve probably gathered, it’s going to be a bunch of science-related blog posts I find interesting and hopefully, you’ll all find interesting!

14th of February. The day that is celebrated by millions worldwide whether that be with the presence of another wonderful human (whom you can call your other half) or not.

I’m lucky enough to be spending another year with a wonderful human being who appreciates me and looks at me in a good light regardless of how bad the lighting is.


First date

I recall one of my first dates with Wahab. It was at Starbucks – yes, we were one of those kids – sharing and exchanging interests with one another perhaps quite awkwardly like, I remember we had an exciting conversation on our creations on Minecraft and how many Halo games we’ve played. Looking back, it was at one of these moments of learning about each other where I felt a click or a bond of attraction form (maybe at this point a fairly weak Van Der Waals attraction which later developed into an ionic force.)

Wahab

Our recent trip to Starbucks – where our first date was at and where I found my real love i.e. the signature hot chocolate.

In one of our first few dates, we somehow got onto the topic of superheroes and superpowers, my favourite superhero being Hawk Girl mainly because of her mysterious looking headgear and wings (clearly deep down I’ve always wanted to be a VS model.) Now superpower-wise, I couldn’t answer – I still don’t know what I’d want because with great power comes great responsibility. Wahab, on the other hand, was much more interesting than me; rather than telling me of fictional abilities he wishes he had, he began to tell me of his real life superpower.

Yes, my boyfriend has magical abilities…

Well, sort of…

I can link colours to letters, words, numbers, tastes, and even people.

At first, I thought it was a strange joke or something you say to keep the conversation flowing; have you ever done that? Just started saying random things to encourage a conversation? Like, “hey did you know I’m actually terrified of goats?”

As I listened to him explain this “superpower” it turns out to be a neurological phenomenon namely, synæsthesia.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 20.21.44

Synæsthesia is a rare neurological condition when to put simply: senses entwine.

How?

Well, when one stimulus is perceived, it travels down a specialised pathway towards the brain and at the same time, an activation of an involuntary pathway occurs. Therefore resulting in σύν syn “together” αἴσθησις aisthēsis “sensation”. There is still a lot of ongoing research on the condition with it affecting an estimate of 1 in 20,000 people. Finding more about synesthesia would be beneficial to neurologists and psychologists in getting to grips with how the brain perceives the real world.

Whenever I ask Wahab the possibility of scientists finding a way to stop his synæsthesia, his answer is always: never.

Not in a million years, it’s how I think, how I look at the world, from emotions, remembering things to maths, science…it’s EVERYTHING.

Of course, I had to ask him what he “senses” when he sees or thinks about me. My first name, Pauline and my full name, Pauline Narvas had differing results:

The name Pauline is a really distinct yellow. But you are a really vivid and bright purple, your colour is the most distinct colour I’ve ever “seen” or felt.

Purple is my favourite colour.

Magical, mind-blowing awesomeness, right? In the past, he managed to guess his group of friends’ favourite colours too! Illustrating what synesthesia is like further, “some coffees taste brown and some taste red, and most people are orange but some are green.”

Wahab calls me mostly by my nickname “Paw” so when he hears or sees “Pauline” he sees a different colour to my purple colour.  The association of words in his brain with colours fascinates me, if it were possible to see the individual circuitry, you’d probably find the involuntary pathway leading towards the area of our brains that allow the perception of colours.

So, he sees the colour AS he sees/feels/hears the word. It’s always difficult to explain to people what exactly is going on but it’s real and freakin’ amazing! Without a doubt, the best “real life” superpower there is out there.

It’s one of the many factors that push Wahab slightly more towards the cool kids’ side.

Our annual trip to our favourite Italian restaurant. An illustration of what Wahab sees, obviously not dotted lines but you get the idea 😉 For those wondering, his colour is multicoloured or white!

Fast forward to two years, six months, ten days since that first conversation, I’m genuinely in the happiest place I can ever be right now. My relationship with Wahab definitely isn’t perfect (are any relationships “perfect”?) but I feel blessed to have such a lovely person by my side. I’ve become more confident and comfortable in my own skin and am slowly learning to love myself a lot more with his help, I’m very grateful.

I hope you guys found this post interesting! Let me know what you think of these monthly blogs,  synaesthesia and do you have a superpower? (or what would your superpower be, if you could have one?)  ✨

If you’d like to read more about it, I’ve left links to some fascinating publications and articles:

Oh and whats Valentines Day without a cheesy, biology pick-up line? I wish I was adenine, then I could get paired with U.

MyoSINcerely, P.


Posted under: myoSINerely


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19 comments

  1. Kristine says:

    My Fiancé actually has synesthesia too! He actually has to be heavily caffeinated to keep it under control, but when he doesn’t have any caffeine it’s a bit distracting, according to him.

    It’s fascinating! Apparently, certain colors actually have a taste or that he sees people in colors based on their mood.

  2. Georgie says:

    I am curious to see more posts in this series, it does have a very interesting name and I really liked reading your story. It makes me so happy to see you happy – you and Wahab make a very cute, nerdy (in a good way of course!) couple.

    It is really interesting and a coincidence that he sees purple when thinking of you particularly, I think it is obviously because you are special to him, unlike any other person who might be named Pauline. I have had people tell me that my name, Georgie, is a really unusual name, and that it suits me really really well compared to my full name (Georgina). It’s strange because I never identified with being called Georgie and hated it when I was younger.

    Some people told me that they associate me with the colour red (which is my favourite!) or a really bright colour. I don’t really wish I had the superpower, but associating with colour sounds more interesting than other associations. For example, when I think of people I know I actually start to think really weird things like who they might have been in another life. Like thinking someone would have been a David Bowie, might have been a dancer, a mailman, or otherwise… and usually something completely unrelated to their appearance or interests. I imagine that Nick would have been a singer and songwriter, like an Ed Sheeran, but he can’t play music at all, nor sing very well, and Ed Sheeran does not really reflect his taste in music. ?

  3. Jhanz says:

    This is really interesting! I’m always fascinated by science stuff (I have friends who are BIG / CRAZY about science!) and it would definitely refreshing to read more about these things on a blog.

    Just dropping by! Cheers!

  4. Michelle says:

    I have a friend with this condition, and it is interesting to hear her talk about it and say that certain things feel more intense.

    It’s amazing, honestly.

    Love the cheesy line at the end 😀

  5. That’s really interesting and neat! Never even heard about that till now, but its seems pretty interesting.

    Also happy Valentine’s Day!

  6. Tara says:

    Love this post, Pauline! Thanks for sharing about your boyfriend and his superhero power. I’ve actually heard about synæsthesia before, so by reading this, it has given me a better understanding 🙂

    You two are so cute! I’m glad you have a special someone ^^

    And I like this new series/column of yours! I am not huge on science, but I do like some topic, so I am curious to see what else you’ll post!

  7. Jenny Kim says:

    Haha…your first date conversation was about Minecraft and Halo. I love it! You guys look so sweet together.

    http://www.pixics.com/blog

  8. Cat says:

    I didn’t really know about synesthesia! I think it’s interesting that your boyfriend associate things with colors, and I enjoyed reading about it here. Very cool how he manages to guess his friends’ favorite colors 🙂

    If I were to name something of mine that is like a superpower, I guess it’d be my ability to recognize patterns quickly. I’ve always been able to pick up puzzle games really quickly because of that. Though, if I were to gain an unrealistic superpower, it’d be nice to be able to turn invisible or something like that 😉

    Oh, and your first date sounds cute! Nerdy conversations with my husband are my favorite 🙂 I’m so glad you’re happy with your relationship! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  9. Jamie says:

    Awe, you two look adorable together! I am glad you guys found each other.

    Hmm, that’s an interesting ‘superpower’ Wahab has. It kind of reminds me of people seeing our auras and would say “Your aura is blue or green.” And would then proceed to explain why.

    I don’t know if I have any superpowers or not. If I do, I definitely can be a smart-ass and get along well with my professors.

  10. Nancy says:

    It’s pretty interesting to have a play on words with a science term!

    Valentine’s Day can be celebrated by all! It’s cute how you both had one of your first dates at Starbucks. Hey, it’s still a great place because you can talk to each other while drinking some delicious coffee or tea!

    I hope you’re watching Legends of Tomorrow because Hawk Girl is in it XD. Synaesthesia sounds pretty interesting with being able to link colors to so many things. Hopefully it’s not a distraction but rather a positive thing for him. I think that’s pretty amazing. *hint: ask about Nancy!!!!*

    I wish I have superpowers XD.

  11. Becca says:

    I’ve never heard of synaesthesia before but it is so interesting! I really enjoyed reading this post and learning a little more about not only synaesthesia but about you two!

    My first name is Rebecca, but I always go by my nickname Becca. My husband and family always call me Becca, so it would be weird for someone to call me Rebecca. Because of that, it makes sense to me that he thinks of you as purple, but Pauline as yellow. I really like that tidbit. 🙂

    I’m not sure what I’d want my superpower to be? Maybe to control time? There are too many possibilities 🙂

  12. Kemi says:

    I’ve never actually heard of synesthesia but it was interested to read about, I’m probably going to look more into it after this post.

    You guys look very cute together! As you say, no relationship is perfect, but I’m glad you two have made it work for this long!

    Hope you enjoyed your v-day! 🙂

  13. Ella says:

    I look forward to future posts in this series. When I saw the title, I picked it up right away. Man, I still got some of that “life science nerdness” in me lol.

    You guys are super cute. Before I found out that my boyfriend also enjoyed video games, we connected by trying to “read each other.” I know, sounds odd, but he called me out on things that I do without even realizing it. So to answer your question, I think an ability that I have is emotional quotient (EQ). Without even knowing it or trying to do it intentionally, I tend to analyze and think about emotions a lot. It’s weird, but I found that it was gotten me pretty far in life.

    First time I’ve heard of Synæsthesia and it sounds really unique and intriguing.

    (Btw, that’s definitely one of my favourite biology pickup lines haha.)

  14. Kya says:

    I really like this new type of post and look forward to hearing more scientific facts. 😀

    I am really glad that you are in a happy place right now and you can be with someone that you like.

    I have heard about Synaesthesia and I find it so interesting! It would be such an unique way to view and interpret the world.

    I am not 100% sure on what my superpower would be. Like you, it’s never been a question I have been able to answer easily. xD

  15. Jenni says:

    That’s so interesting! I link colours to songs, but nothing else; I want a proper superpower!

    Looking forward to your next sciency post already 🙂

  16. Amy says:

    Aww this is so cute! I’ve heard of synaesthesia before, but never known anyone with an experience of it. It’s really interesting how everyone’s brains work so differently.

    Deadpool, Jessica Jones, Ms Marvel and Bullseye are my favourite characters at the moment. My comic book subscriptions are ridiculous at the moment!
    Xxx

  17. Chynna says:

    I actually read this blog a while ago, but I’ve only had the chance to comment now. Still laughing at the “real love” caption~

    You and your boyfriend are so cute! That is pretty interesting *superpower* to have. I love what he senses about you – “your colour is the most distinct colour I’ve ever “seen” or felt.” Oh my garsh; just melted.

    I’m interested to see what will be in your next post for this series!

  18. Jeanne says:

    So interesting! This has been such a cute read. And you two look adorable together!

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