Twin Truths: Life as a Twin

Twin Truths: Life as a Twin

No, you are not seeing double.
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Growing up a twin can make for some interesting experiences. Modern psychology has said that twins are the closest thing we have to clones -- weird, right? Anyway, if you are a twin, I'm sure you can relate to what I'm about to share. If not, read on as well, because speaking on behalf of twins everywhere, there are some things you outsiders need to know.

First off, just because we look alike DOES NOT MEAN we are the same person. This was/is my biggest pet peeve about being a twin, and it's the one that people often fail to realize. Yes, my sister and I look similar. HOWEVER, we could not be more different in terms of style, personality, behavior, and character traits. Outsiders -- please do us a favor and start thinking of us twinsies as individuals and not "the twins."

Secondly, we understand that sometimes we will get called the wrong name. It just comes with the territory; that's OK. Being a twin, in combination with (apparently) having a really difficult name to say and/or spell, means that I got more names growing up than I knew what to do with -- Michael-uh, MarCELLa, Mitch-ayla, (just a few of the ways people have pronounced my name), Miranda (my sister's name) -- the list goes on and on. I get that my sister's name will probably be used interchangeably with mine forever to people who don't know us very well, but could everyone out there who knows a set of twins please learn the differences and right names if possible? (Also, my name is spelled M-I-C-A-E-L-A, and it is pronounced Mi-Kay-Luh, for future reference; just had to throw that in there. Carry on.)

Thirdly, just because we are twins does not mean we do everything together, dress alike, and stay connected at the hip. Yes, most of us probably got put in matching outfits by our parents as youngsters, but believe me, we grow out of it. Don't buy into this stereotype. It's frustrating. Twins are just like any other siblings. Except we were born at the same time. And share some of the same physical traits. And can sometimes tell what the other one is thinking. And trick people if we feel mischievous... you know, just like everyone else...

Fourthly, if you're like me, your twin is possibly one of your closest friends. Sure, there are times when you want to rip each other's hair out, but at the end of the day, you can always depend on one another, and nobody messes with your sibling except you. *Sidenote: if you are girls, maybe you even share each other's clothes; I don't know if boy twins do that -- do they do that?

Finally, learn to see us as our own people. To the world, twins seem like two-of-a-kind, but to us, we are completely unique, just like anyone else. In no way are we 100% absolutely alike, so don't feel compelled to view us this way. It's bad enough being mistaken for one another, lumped together all the time, and having to share a birthday (unfair, BTW.), so just think of us as two people who just happen to look alike.

Don't get me wrong, I love being a twin, and I wouldn't trade my sister for the world. The good, the bad, and the ordinary -- these are just a few things that life as a twin entails. Much love to my fellow twosomes. XOXO and good luck. I hope to you traditional one-at-a-time babies, this has given you a little more insight into the life of a twin.

Cover Image Credit: Seventeen

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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'The Farewell' Brings An Asian-American Narrative To Hollywood

I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

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The trailer for Lulu Wang's "The Farewell" was recently released. The film, based on Wang's own experience, stars Awkwafina as Billi, a Chinese-American woman who travels to China after learning her grandmother has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. "The Farewell" initially debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in January, and currently holds a rating of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Farewell" is an exciting film for members of the Asian-American community, as it encompasses many of our own experiences in having family overseas. Having this Asian-American narrative portrayed in Hollywood is especially groundbreaking and important to the community. "Crazy Rich Asians" has received much well-deserved acclaim for its leap in Asian representation, but the film did not necessarily depict a completely relatable experience and was only one story out of many in the Asian-American community. There were aspects of the characters' cultures that allowed the Asian-American audience to connect with much of the film, but the upper-class narrative wasn't quite as accessible to everyone.

While "Crazy Rich Asians" portrays Asians in a way that is very much uncommon in Hollywood and American media in general and had a hand in helping to break stereotypes, "The Farewell" introduces a nearly universal first-generation American or immigrant narrative to Hollywood. In doing so, the film allows many members of the Asian-American community to truly see their own experiences and their own stories on the screen.

For me, the trailer alone was enough to make me tear up, and I've seen many other Asian Americans share a similar experience in seeing the trailer. The film reminds us of our own families, whether it's our grandparents or any other family living overseas. I've never imagined that a story like this would make its way to Hollywood, and it's definitely a welcome change.

"The Farewell," which is scheduled for release on July 12, 2019, depicts a family dynamic in the Asian-American experience that hits home for many, including myself. The initial critical response, especially towards Awkwafina's performance, is certainly promising and will hopefully motivate more Asian-American and other minority filmmakers to bring their own stories to Hollywood.

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