Love Tastes Like Popcorn
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Love Tastes Like Popcorn

I'm not crazy, I just have Synesthesia.

282
Love Tastes Like Popcorn
https://pixabay.com/en/background-texture-absstrakt-1909992/

My senior year of high-school I sat in a group of six, assigned to analyze a poem that had been read as a class. As my group shared their ideas of the hidden meanings within the lines of the poem I realized when it came my time to share, I would be embarrassed. English and literature were my favorite subjects throughout secondary school, it came easy to me and I loved the opportunity to be abstract with my interpretations, unlike other classes. However, I was never the student to raise my hand and share my opinions, they remained with me.

This was because, my thoughts were difficult to verbalize. When I read it was with color, texture, and emotions; making it difficult to translate daily thoughts into coherent sentences. When I spoke, there was an overwhelming amount of fillers, "you know what I mean" and "thingy" were common placeholders never to be filled. I was jealous of those who could speak their thoughts with ease, share ideas without using their hands as an aid, or struggle to remember the point. I excelled in creative writing, but when it came to having a clear argument, I always fell short. The same advice was always scribbled on the front page of my papers, "your point is unclear." I tried to better myself with each assignment, but couldn't understand how those around me were translating the colors and textures so. much. better. Until one day, my mother approached me about something she had read on the internet. "Have you ever heard of Synesthesia?"

"Have you ever heard of Synesthesia?"ISTOCK

Synesthesia is defined as, "a perceptual phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway." or "a union of the senses."

When first exposed to this information, I was completely in denial. Until that moment, I was unaware that people weren't thinking as I was; but that I was unique. I refused to think this "neurological condition" applied to me, or that I could be different. I asked everyone I knew what they tasted when hearing certain words, and what colors they saw during certain songs, and it only made me feel more isolated. My time became dedicated to the research and discovery of what this meant and why it made me who I am. Obsessed, I spent entire school days searching and reading the mechanisms, research, and possible diagnoses of this foreign "phenomenon" which could define so much of who I am. Then I discovered the three forms that made up the workings of my thoughts, perceptions, and feelings.

Synesthetic associations can occur in any combination and any number of senses or cognitive pathways.

Synesthesia - Wikipedia

Chromesthesia

When I lay in bed and hear the sound of snow hitting the roof above me, it triggers a visual of fluid colors that swirl and breathe like a projection from my mind. Music can elicit strong, sometimes overwhelming, visuals that vary in shape, color, and intensity from song to song. The popping of a cork can send bursting colors out into the space around me making the mood that much more visceral. This is one form of my synesthesia. Chromesthesia is the name of the specific experience of sound to color, shape, and for me, even texture.

It may sound like a fun never ending LSD experience without the danger of a bad trip, however, I find it can be terribly overwhelming. In crowds I feel drained and disoriented, fighting to make sense of the surrounding conversations while fighting to ignore the sensory overload. Music, conversations, the snacking of food, it can all be too much. I struggle to focus, be present, and often find myself dissociating to avoid the headache of sifting through the surging colors in my mind.

But, it has allowed to me feel more than I ever have. When I paint, I play music and allow the involuntary visions to make up the contents of the canvas. When I write, I practice translating my colors into words, every once in a while, proud of what's written on the page. My mind allows my creativity to function of a plane deeper than most. I feel it all much more violently. Simple violin concertos can bring tears to my eyes, and the buzz of an electric song can paralyze me, sending me into a sensory stupor.

Lexical-Gustatory

When I dry my hair, like most straight-haired girls, I use a towel. When I hear the word towel, champagne floods into my mouth. The bubbles tingle and roll across my tongue and I swallow it up while I feel the fuzzy fabric of the towel in my hands. This is not literal. I'm not sneaking champagne during my showers, but the experience of tasting it is just as real as if I was. My brother's name is a flaky pastry, crisp with hints of nutty chocolate. My second form of synesthesia. Lexical-Gustatory is the experience of taste when hearing words.

Words with positive association taste good and negative taste bad. My favorite swear taste like asparagus and love tastes like popcorn. Winter is my favorite word, a strange combination of lilac and mint flood my tastes buds and if the word is related to a particular food, I can salivate. Like the previous, this can often cause me to feel overwhelmed in large groups or when apart of multiple different conversations. If this phenomenon I experience is brought up by a friend, I am suddenly bombarded with questions, "what does my name taste like", "tell me what this word tastes like", "can you choose the flavor?"

I cannot control it, and I don't necessarily enjoy it. Most days I go on without much notice, but when asked it can be difficult to put into words what exactly I'm tasting, as nothing can ever be simple. Food tastes like itself and yes colors have taste. This form only adds to the complexity of my senses, making music and sound a whole body experience.

Music can elicit strong, sometimes overwhelming, visuals that vary in shape, color, and intensity from song to song.http://neurowiki2013.wikidot.com/individual:auditory-visual-synesthesia

Mirror-Touch

Outside an ice skating rink I sat with a large group of friends, our volume and moods at an all time high. The weekend was starting and it was close to being summer vacation. We talked, laughed, and stuffed our faces with food. Suddenly, I felt a warm wave wash over me. I was not only sad, I had the overwhelming sensation of sobbing. My chest felt heavy and my hands became clammy. When I turned to leave the group, I noticed a girl and felt that in that moment, we were the same. I approached her, asking if she was alright. Wide eyed she began to shake and the tears slipped from her eyes.

Mirror-Touch is my third form of synesthesia. When someone experiences a sensation I involuntarily feel it as well. Headaches, a tap on the shoulder, and pinching a like will affect me as they affect you. My feelings are heightened, and the echoes of pain, touch sensation, and emotion flood into me on daily basis.

People with this type of synesthesia have been shown to have higher empathy levels compared to the general population.

Synesthesia - Wikipedia

I cry easily, have a low threshold for pain, and experience emotional imbalances no matter the location. I feel as though I am connected to everyone around me. Injustices online are met with a heartbreak as though I am the victim, victories of the underdog are injected into me, the dopamine keeping me high for days. Your pain is my pain. Your joy is my joy. I can read the room and can always tell when being lied to. Your feelings flood into me and when I am alone, I can feel empty. Hollow.

http://www.visualnews.com/2015/04/19/artist-with-synesthesia-paints-music-the-way-she-sees-it/

I don't feel this makes me special, and for the most part I keep it to myself. However, I think it's important to understand the inner workings of ourselves if we ever want to be happy with who we are. We live in a society where it can be so difficult to love our bodies, our minds, and our spirits. So many of us only see ourselves as depressed, anxious, unhappy, or without likable qualities. It's sad, untrue, and I feel that sharing something I find so ugly and unimpressive can allow me to see it as an outsider. I've been told my synesthesia is a gift, when I've only ever seen it as a speed bump. But through sharing it slowly with those around me, I can learn to appreciate the rare quality within me, as everyone should. I do not think like everyone. I do not paint like everyone, and I do not interpret life like everyone. But who really does?

We all have gifts. Whether we know of them yet or not. We are all special. Our senses allow us this. We all walk, run, talk, laugh, and love differently. Thats why poetry is so impressionistic. It is a reflection of ourselves, and none of us are the same. This does not mean I am cured of the insecurities I face, or the embarrassment I felt in my group of six when trying to explain why the word popcorn had slipped from my mouth when giving my thoughts of the poem. We do not suddenly love the parts of us we find ugly. But when we find ourselves envious over the qualities of another, this is when we forget that someone else may be envious of our own.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge

After all, isn't it the season of drinking...?

616
10 Holiday Drinks to Spice Up this December's Movie Binge
https://unsplash.com/photos/d-SeLxF_QF0

Thanksgiving has officially ended which means we are in preparation for the final holidays of the year. December is a busy month, filled with shopping and sales, wrapping gifts, planning family gathering and parties, cooking and baking, holiday movies, and of course, lots of drinking. I know that I will be spending a lot of December watching the ABC Family's 25 Days of Christmas,

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Planning Another Christmas Party

Don't just plan another plain party but get creative to have everyone wanting to come back next year!

9020
Getty Famous

You know it's Christmas when the radio stations change to all of your favorite holiday tunes, the air is still, and stores have the best sales. With all my favorite things from Christmas happening my least favorite probably has to be when I have to go to another same old boring Christmas party that I get invited to every year. Here are some Christmas party ideas so that you won't have another sad Christmas party.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

High School Soccer is Wildly Important

For Young Players Who Want to Succeed at The Next Level

14182
High School Soccer is Wildly Important

Whose choice is it? The parent? The player? There are a number of reasons that a kid may sit out of high school soccer, and to be completely honest; It is a huge mistake. High school soccer is the final piece in the puzzle that takes a player from above average or elite, to college ready by the end of their senior year. Every year thousands of talented athletes don't play for their high schools. Why though?

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List

December is around the corner, are you ready?

11001
8 Things That Should Be On Everyone's Holiday To-Do List
Unsplash.com

As they tend to say, its the most wonderful time of the year! People have begun to compile their Christmas to-do lists in anticipation for the season of sugarplums and gingerbread.

The history of the Christmas to-do lists goes back hundreds of years, almost as old as the holiday itself, however, people tend to fall out of this habit as they get older. This is unfortunate, as the theme of Christmas tradition can add bundles of the spirit of joy to your families.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Fall Weather Must-Haves

Put away the swim suits and your favorite high-waisted shorts!

10540

The transitional months of fall can cause some fashion headaches as you try to figure out what clothing to keep in your closet. With limited amount of college living space and the ever-unpredictable Nebraska weather, sometimes it’s difficult to know what should be taking up that precious closet space as you transition into winter. As you pack away those tanks and shorts for the chilly months ahead, get your closet ready with a few Fall must-haves. 

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments