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Twins. You see them a lot, believe it or not. Fraternal twins are genetic and run in families. In fact, fraternal twins run in my own family. Identical twins, however, are a little bit more rare. I am an identical twin.
I get a lot of questions about what it's like to be a twin. Questions like "Can you read each other's minds?" "Can you feel each other's pain?" or "Do you feel like you're incomplete when you're not with each other?" and the answer to all of those questions is no. Just because we are identical twins and we came from the same egg does not mean we are two halves of the same whole. It may look like it, we may sometimes act like it, but we are two completely different people.
Yes, people call me by the wrong name all of the time. It's annoying, but I deal with it, because at this point I realize that some people just don't know how to tell us apart. It is when people refuse to try that really gets to me.
We are not the same person. When you say things like "You're basically the same person so it doesn't matter," it really gets to us. We have grown in two different directions and while we do have similarities, we would greatly appreciate being recognized for our own individual characteristics. I am not her, she is not me. We have different values, different perspectives, we've done different things.
Heck, we even went to different schools! Our parents are divorced. No, it wasn't like the Parent Trap where we didn't know we were twins. We knew. They divorced when we were young, and for elementary school and middle school, we lived together. We got all kinds of inquiries from other kids about whether or not we could see with each other's eyes, feel each other's pain, or read each other's minds. The answer is still no, by the way.
We got all kinds of questions and comments regarding twins as we grew up. One of my teachers even tried to tell us that we weren't identical twins! Here I will list some of the most common questions and comments we have received:
- "Do you guys have twin telepathy?"
- "Can you feel each other's pain?"
- "Do you guys have your own secret language?"
- "You're the same person."
- "You should just have the same name, it'd be less confusing."
- "Did your parents cry when they found out they were having twins?"
- "Do your parents ever get you guys confused?"
- "How do people tell you apart? You're like the same person."
- "What if I called the wrong name on purpose?"
As we grew older, we were more independent, we had different friends, different interests, different favorite colors, etc. By the time we reached high school, we were in completely different classes. When sophomore year was on its way, I decided to go live with my dad and thus go to a different high school.
When that happened, I felt liberated. Nobody was constantly asking me questions about what it was like to be a twin. People weren't pinching me to see if she'd feel it. I felt like I could finally grow to be my own person, and that's what I did. She ended up moving to California, and I stayed where I was to finish high school at the same place. I found what I loved. I developed myself as my own person.
I love my twin, but we are completely different human beings. We have different interests, different beliefs, different goals. And that's okay. We don't have to be the same. Just because we are twins doesn't mean that we have to act like it. We are two different, living, breathing human beings. We have different fingerprints, different identities.
You may come across some twins that are a lot more alike than we are, and that's who they are. But they still have their own identity. They are still different.