According to the University if Texas at Austin, about 32 of every 1000 people is a twin, either identical or fraternal, but here’s what you don’t know.
Being a twin has its advantages and disadvantages. You have a built-in best friend who can understand you better than anyone as well as your number one competitor in everything you do. Yet, as an identical twin, there are definitely some hardships.
I love my sister. She’s my best friend and confidant, innately knowing how I’m feeling in a situation. I can always rely on her to be there. To me, twins epitomize the adage, “Blood is thicker than water.” We are connected mind, body, and soul.
My twin and I were attached at the hip for our entire lives with matching clothes, the same behavior, and the same friend group. We have become part of each other’s identity and rely on each other as our support. I know my very own doppelgänger who is by my side and will be there for me through thick-and-thin. However, having a twin is both a blessing and a curse.
Throughout my entire childhood, my twin and I have always had our names messed up by our families and friends. I’ve become accustomed to responding to either my last name, my sister’s name, or our names combined. Our sixth grade science teacher did not bother to remember our names; instead, he combined our names and only referred to us with that. We shared everything. The dream of having something to myself, like a birthday or an event, never came true. As selfish and futile as that sounds, the feeling of having nothing for yourself becomes discouraging.
As a teenager, comparing yourself to other girls your age is almost instinctive in this society. Everyone has to compete to be the best, be the most popular, the most liked. Well, add having an identical twin sister to that. The competitions I faced doubled, whether it be academically, socially, or physically. My inner battles became more combative when my twin was doing or being someone I wanted to be more like, or scared when I was not perceived the same way. It ate me up inside.
Just know that if you’re a twin and experience this, you’re not alone.
When I constantly berated myself after judging my actions or looks because of my sister, I decided I needed a new approach in handling my self-consciousness. I sought ways that made me different from my sister, and writing became my own hobby, my own passion. Because of that, I realized that there are many ways I was able to differentiate myself from her and garner an identity apart from being a twin.
When it came to college, she and I decided that separating was the best option. For me, I needed to find out who I was without her. I wanted my own identity. The time apart was the best thing for our relationship. The comparisons and competitions decreased, and I was able to figure out who I was without her.
I never feel any indignation from what I experienced as a twin. I wouldn’t change anything, even all the hardships, because I learned from them.
A little advice…
At the end of the day, I realized that I have control over what I deem is important. I have the choice to either let my inhibitions stop me from being who I want, or I use them to better myself. Every person has a choice. It is up to you to decide what the right one is. I came to realize that being a twin doesn’t diminish your personal identity but enhances it.
Writing became part of my own identity, and I stopped feeling sorry for myself for the situation I was in. My appreciation for being a twin increased, and my perception changed. No set of twins is the same, so it is crucial that you communicate and find how you and your twin can resolve any hardships in the future.
If you’re a twin and feel contempt for the self-consciousness or competition you undergo, remember to take your passion or what makes you unique and show the world. Inhibitions are always there, but how you choose to deal with them is what lessens their occurrence.
Identical twins are not one-hundred percent identical. My twin is four inches taller than me. If you feel lesser than your twin for what you think he or she embodies better, focus on what makes you confident in yourself. Everyone has their own specialties, even when they might have the same DNA as another.
I see my twin as a friend rather than another version of myself. We still have the same friend group, but we also know what it is like to be separate from one another. I do not have the urge to compete with my sister or feel the need to know or do everything she does in fear of being less than her. And because of that, we can help each other with anything and tell each other advice or stories instead of experiencing them together.
Being a twin is not easy, but having your person is worth it.
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