So, let me start out by telling you that I am an identical twin. This means my sister and I were born on the same day and are the same age, with approx. 5 minutes in the difference. We may look alike, but we have two very different personalities. Growing up, people often expected us to be the same, both inside and out. It is even more difficult as a twin to establish your individuality when your sibling looks identical to you. Being born with an identical twin is both a blessing and a curse, but either way - I wouldn’t change it for the world! I was born with my best friend and partner in crime by my side. In a world where many people often feel alone or misunderstood, I have someone who seems to know me better than I know myself. Growing up alongside someone the same age makes the awkward stages of more tolerable. Having someone who was going through similar things as me, at the same time, helped me to feel less alone.
The downfall of being an identical twin is the constant feeling of competition. When you have someone who looks like you and often thinks like you, there is a constant self-inflicted pressure to be better. In order to feel unique and like individuals, we spent most of our teen years struggling to look different, be different and be better than each other. This type of competitiveness leads to jealousy, resentment, rivalry and a lot of heated arguments! Over time though, it became less important as we grew into our own and found our own paths in life. Even as adults we occasionally, compare where we are in our lives with one and other. As we watch each other’s successes and shortcomings, this can lead to feelings of inadequacy. However, for the most part, I like to think that we are each other’s cheerleaders in life and cheer each other on!
When I was younger, I saw a therapist and she asked me “why do you always refer to yourself as we?” After stopping to think about it for a moment, I realized that every major event in my life, I had experienced with my twin sister. Naturally, I began feeling less as a “me and more as a we.” Over the years we shared birthdays, celebrations, graduations and every milestone together. We became practically attached at the hip and almost un-separable.
When people ask me if I like being a twin, my answer is always the same, “we are sisters by chance, but friends by choice.” My sister is my rock, we have been there for each other, every step of the way and I couldn’t imagine my life without her in it. No matter what life throws at us, we help lift each other up and we walk through it together. If that isn’t a blessing, then I don’t know what is?
I think that it is important to take this opportunity, to de-bunk the most common myths about twins.
FACT OR FICTION: Twins can read each other’s minds.
FICTION – We can not hear each others’ thoughts or read each others’ minds. However, as twins typically develop very close relationships with each other, it is common for twins to be more in-tuned with each others’ emotions and body language. For example, my sister and I can often sense things, even when miles apart from each other. Perhaps, intuition?
FACT OR FICTION: There is a good and an evil twin.
FICTION – This assumption stems way back to mythology. Many people assume that twins are polar- opposites and because of this “theory,” that there must be a good vs. bad. This is 100% incorrect.