Being a twin is something that no one will ever understand unless, of course, you are one. You will never know what it feels like to share your entire childhood with someone. You share experiences, an environment, and, in my case, most of your physical appearance. Being a twin is probably the most important thing in the world to me. God has blessed me with a sister and best friend all in one. But recently people have been criticizing our relationship, saying it is unhealthy. I can definitely understand where these concerns are coming from but would like to point some things out:
- We are not the same person.Yes, we grew up in the same house, dealt with most of the same experiences, and are basically identical (‘semi-identical’ if you want to get technical. Look it up.), but just have experienced the same situations doesn’t mean that those situation affected us the same. We are different people in many regards. Here are a few examples:Differences:I am an ESFJ, she is an INTJ. I am a real estate finance/ econ major. She is a creative advertising major. I excel at math and science and she can school me in english and history. I am two inches taller, she wears a smaller size in jeans. She loves to philosophize about life and its complexities, I like to talk about the hear and now and all the details in between. Issues in our childhood affected us so differently that we even have different memories of the same event. She is left-handed, im righthanded. She has more freckles than me and has a birth mark near her temple. I had broken blood vessels on my face my entire adolescence, she did not. I have glasses and she has bangs. My favorite color is orange, Haley’s is green. Her favorite book is 1984, mine is Pride and Prejudice. I’m an alto she is a soprano. Ketchup makes me nauseous but she can eat it. I have a fear of whales, she doesn’t. I’m right-handed and she is left-handed. We both have different testimonies and internal struggles. She has always had better grades (she was #5 in the class and I was #13) and got a much higher SAT score then I did. She also has way more scholarships than I do. We have different DNA (BAM!). Shall I continue?
Similarities:Hair color, eye color, university, love for musical theater/broadway, the car we drive (its expensive to get two separate cars), favorite TV show, both Captains on a dance team, both RAs, go to the same campus ministry and are in the same small group, go to the same church…. and now I’m drawing a blank.As you can see, despite our physical appearance, most of our similarities are things that two non-twin sisters or best friends would share. Thats why we hang out together. We enjoy doing the same things. I wouldn’t hang out with Haley so much if more people were willing to go on a DART adventure, eat at a food truck, and see a musical (and before you say “I’ve never asked”, I have. Multiple times. No one has ever taken me up on the invitation).
- We have our own lives. There are days where I don’t even see my sister at all. Not even in passing. We both have such different majors that our classes rarely overlap. We also are headed into completely different, if not opposite, careers where we have each have excelled without the ‘twin crutch’. I don’t NEED my sister. I don’t NEED to spend time with her. I WANT to. There are some times that I don’t want to be around her. There are some times where I find her super annoying and frustrating. There are some times I think to myself, “If we weren’t twins I probably wouldn’t hang out with her”. These are all things that occur in a NORMAL friendship. You learn to look past someone’s faults and quirks and love them for the person God made them. Its just easier for my sister and I because we grew up learning the same morals, the same religion, and the same politics. We don’t have to tip toe around the taboo topics because we know where we stand. We’re close. However….
- We weren’t always friends. The concerns that have been brought up recently are completely understandable. Though I don’t know many twins myself, I do know pairs of friends who are far too close and have, what I would call, an unhealthy relationship. I can see where everyone is coming from. However, Haley and I weren’t always best friends. Growing up we definitely were too dependent upon each other. This came out of necessity due to the fact that we were home-schooled for 8 years of our lives and therefore only had each other for a classmate. We spent most of our days creating games, playing dress-up, and making movies. BUT, we never got to know each other. We just expected each other to be there when we needed a play-mate or were bored. The worst year for our relationship was our freshman year of college when we roomed together. I HATED it. I got to see the dependancy that was so subtle all those years rear its ugly head. So when we both got the RA job but in different dorms I was excited. That first year living apart was by far the best year of our relationship. For the first time in our lives, we had to schedule time to spend together. We also had different experiences and stories to talk about. This was the first time that we had actual conversations that weren’t about the weather (in high school we never spoke to each other at meals because we had nothing to say. What do you talk about when you do everything together?). I really began to understand Haley and how she ticks. And though the world doesn’t see it, we are like night and day. The way we tackle the world is so opposite from each other. I was surprised I never saw it before. So yes, I agree. Before my sophomore year we had an unhealthy relationship. But out of our dependency we have both grown into independent young women who have a deep respect and understanding for each other. Over the past year, our parents got divorced. I have never been so thankful in my life to have a twin than going through that experience. Its hard enough to watch your family sever, but to be around people who don’t understand is rough. I firmly believe that God has a plan for everything and I believe he sent me Haley to help me get through this tough stage in my life. If it weren’t for her my relationship with Him may not be as strong as it is today and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
- We’re not Twinkies. We don’t come in a pack. In other words, we can do things separate. We don’t have to be together at all times. We don’t have to be together at all really. I love the one-on-one time I get to spend with people (Quality time spent is my #1 love language). So if you ever want to spend time with me, and only me, just ask. I won’t be offended and neither will Haley. We have agreed that if someone ever requests to hang out with one of us, then that’s awesome! It means someone has taken the time to get to know each of us for who were are and not what we are. Just because we shared a womb doesn’t mean we’re an entity. We are two individual human beings with different hopes, dreams, and personalities. You’d be surprised how different we really are. All you have to do is take the time to find out.