So I’m a twin and I must say that it has been quite a journey. I have a fraternal sister who is four minutes older than me. We look like sisters, not necessarily just alike. And yet all through school, especially the early years, we were treated in a way that I found stifling. We were compared to each other by teachers, relatives, and peers. It appeared that my sister was the confident and outspoken one, while I presented myself as more of a people pleaser. I tried not to rock the boat, and just go with the flow.
Now I’m sure, in fact I know, that my sister perceived this experience differently. Of course she did, but the one thing we can agree on was how good it felt to go to college and start fresh. It wasn’t so bad having a twin, it just felt like I couldn’t be myself, I was always half of a pair. All of my actions were interpreted through the lens of being a twin. “Your sister is playing band, why aren’t you?” Or “I see you changed your hair, is that so you won’t look so much like your sister?”
So parents and family members, encourage your children, twins especially, to be their own person. My sister and I have a complicated relationship despite the notion that twins are supposed to “have a connection”. Just because we are supposed to, doesn’t mean it will happen. I feel like I know who I am, and I feel good about that. I hope that my sister knows that I am a safe place for her, I think she does, and that I know that we share something no one else can understand. I am grateful that she is in my life. I’d like to think that we could’ve been closer had I not felt the push from all around.