What’s your superpower?
In 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.
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.)
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.
Synæsthesia is a rare neurological condition when to put simply: senses entwine.
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.
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:
- Scientificamerican: What is Synaesthesia?
- Colorer-Speech synaesthesia triggered by multisensory, not unisensory, perception.
- Synaesthesia: prevalence and familiality.
Oh and whats Valentines Day without a cheesy, biology pick-up line? I wish I was adenine, then I could get paired with U.