Being a twin is something I've always been proud of. For as long as I can remember, it's been the two of us against the world and I'm fortunate that as we've grown older, our unbelievably close relationship has turned into a friendship of epic proportions. I do wonder every now and then how different my life would be if I had a younger sibling to look out for or an older sibling to look up to, but I wouldn't change a thing because my sister, Nicole, is my person. No matter the combination (two girls, two boys, a boy and a girl), every set of twins can identify with these six things:
- Learning to share very early on. I'm not just talking about materialistic things like toys and clothes. As a twin, my life as a whole has been shared from day one. From birthday parties to my Bat Mitzvah to my bedroom (yes, we had a short stint with a bunk bed), being a twin has taught me the true meaning of "sharing is caring."
- Answering the same questions over and over. "Are you identical or fraternal?" That's generally the first of many questions you're asked after revealing you're a twin. Another common inquiry is if we share the same group of friends. I've always found this to be somewhat of a strange question, only because I can't imagine having two separate social lives. Many sets of twins do branch off into their own crews, we just weren't one of them. Don't get me wrong, we each have had friends over the years that never overlapped, but our closest friends are shared (see above).
- Icebreakers are a breeze. Having to announce a "fun fact" about yourself in a room full of people may be intimidating to the average person, but for twins it's quite the opposite. I shouldn't generalize, but I personally am always excited to share the news. I never have to think twice about what to say or worry that it isn't compelling enough. Overall, it's a pretty convenient anecdote to have in my back pocket.
- Keeping a picture of your twin on file. Once people find out you're a twin, they always want to see a photo for comparison. We were never one of those sets of twins who could switch places and fool everyone around us. People who know us can differentiate with ease, but we have gotten some perplexed faces from acquaintances and distant family members who only met us as babies.
- The conscious effort to set yourself apart. Although it's truly awesome to be a twin, I've also found it important to foster my own individuality. My sister and I have innately different personalities, so this was never a huge challenge. Whether it was participating in different Summer activities when growing up or deciding to attend different colleges, we've made many decisions as individuals instead of as a unit.
- Having a built-in best friend. Imagine growing up having your closest pal right down the hall every night. Imagine having one person who's going through exactly what you're going through at every stage of your life. That's what it's like to be a twin. Having a twin is like having a constant soundboard to bounce ideas and questions off of. My twin is my first and unwavering source of advice, because she understands me to an extent no one else does.
So if you've ever wondered what it's like to be a twin, yes — it's freaking awesome. Being a twin has taught me so much about life and it's become a part of my identity. So thanks, Mom and Dad, for giving me the best partner in crime a girl could ask for.