Once upon a time we were one person. That is, until mom’s belly got too big and she and dad realized they were having twins. We were intertwined from the start, in every sense of the word, and the rest is history.
I don’t have to tell you we’ve been through quite the roller coaster together, but there’s no one else I would have rather had by my side on this crazy ride.
Having an identical twin is more than pulling pranks on people. It’s more than rolling your eyes when someone uses the wrong name, more than joint birthday parties, more than sharing clothes and more than being able to blame breaking objects on someone else.
It’s more than comparisons and competitions, and more than wondering if you’re the pretty one or the smart one (sorry mom). And it’s more than the excruciating year and a half we went through in high school while struggling to find out who we were as individuals.
Here’s what having an identical twin is to me:
It’s a childhood full of shared memories, some that you don’t even know you have until the smallest sight, sound, or smell brings them back. It’s years of sleepovers every night, giggling in bed so late that you wonder how you got any sleep. It’s twelve year old girls taking turns rewinding and resetting the O*Town cassette tape when it finished playing for the tenth time. It’s secret handshakes, special languages and an unbeatable team in a game of Taboo.
It’s understanding stories perfectly without using pronouns, communicating with looks instead of words, and texting the exact same thing at the same time. It’s crawling into each others arms, even as adults, because twin snuggles will always be the ultimate comfort. It’s knowing every single detail about the other one’s personal life, because nothing is TMI or off limits – and I mean nothing.
It’s sharing each others successes and failures, sending encouragement, but also providing reality checks when they’re necessary. It’s the excitement of meeting someone who knows your sister, and watching them freak out over the identical mannerisms. It’s laughing hysterically at old home videos, because you don’t know which one is you. It’s fascination with your similarities and differences, and the fact that two people can be so connected and yet so individual at the same time.
It’s knowing every single day that there is someone in this world who loves you unconditionally and who would do anything for you.
You’re my biggest fan, my harshest critic, my wisest teacher, my most stubborn student and my best friend. We may be in different cities, doing different things and growing in different ways, but somehow, we are closer now than ever. We can’t get back the years that things weren’t so great, but I would do it all again to get where we are now.
So I just wanted to say thank you. For believing in me, for pushing me, for consoling me, for inspiring me and most importantly for always being there. I love you more than we used to love sucking our (opposite) thumbs – and you know that’s saying something.
Your (literal) other half