Identity and being a Twin

As soon as I mention that I have a twin sister,  I see your eyes sparkle with curiosity. Regardless of whether you are a twin or not, you will ask me the same series of questions; Are you identical? Were you dressed the same as children? Are you telepathic? Do you feel her pain? The answers, by the way, are yes, yes, maybe one time and um, no. I am not sure if it’s just me, but when I find out someone else is a twin, I don’t bother asking, regale them with tales of silly questions; are you both the same age? Um, seriously? Anyway, I don’t really understand the fascination. To me, I just have a sister who happens to be born on the same day as me. We are about as similar as any close sisters could be, given the chance. However, I would like to iterate that she is her own person, just like I am.

Being a twin does not mean that you have to dress the same, have the same hairstyle or colour. It doesn’t mean that you need to have the same friends, or go to the same school, even. It isn’t a foregone conclusion that if one twin goes somewhere, the other will follow. Oh, and twincest, by the way, is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of in my life.

I admit it; sometimes I relish the reaction some people give me when I tell them this little fact; the way I automatically become a more interesting person, the way they want to know all about the differences between me and my twin. Other reactions aren’t quite so nice; the way they raise their eyebrows as if wondering why my twin doesn’t come wandering over to me at that moment, the way they immediately want proof, as if it’s something horrendously uncommon and I must be lying. Sometimes that grates on me, other times it’s funny. I guess it depends what mood I’m in.

I love it when someone I know sees my sister and tells me about it. Sometimes it’s nice to check up on her, make sure she’s OK, and make sure she’s behaving herself. I love the way I had someone with me, sharing in everything I did and understanding because she was going through the same things. She has always been my best friend, my shoulder to cry on and the one who always knows how to make me laugh. I miss her now we don’t live together, having spent most of our lives in each-other’s company. Sometimes I worry about visiting friends the two of us know, wondering if I am enough to hold their interest without my other half.

That’s what identical twins are, purely and simply. We are two sides of the same coin, one egg split in two (literally), but cooked different ways. I couldn’t be who I am without her, because a part of me has always been with her, and the other part has tried not to be too much like her. Let’s not forget though, this is the same with any person; you cannot be who you are without your parents and the upbringing you had, the friends you have and the mistakes you have made.

Even though my twin makes up a strong part of my identity, she has also strengthened my individuality. I am my own person, even if I may look the spitting image of someone else.

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