I am a genetic anomaly. A redundancy, if you will. A repetition, a duplication, a replication. I am an identical twin. And I believe that close relationships and individuality can coexist.
Even since I was a babe in arms, I have always been defined by my best friend who just happened to be in the womb with me. While this has had some positive aspect, such as an automatic best friend and kidney donor, it has also had many negative aspects as well. I am constantly hampered by question such as “Dude, do you have ESP?” or “Which one of you is the evil twin?”
Our society is content with imitations, with impersonations. I think that Oscar Wilde said it best when he said, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” Life should be a creation, like an original painting or a creative musical masterpiece. Life is not worth living if it is a mockery of another. I believe in uniqueness and exceptionality. I believe in individuality.
However, I also believe that individuality and successful relationships can and do coexist. Many people make the mistake in believing that in order to be an individual; one must revoke their ties with the rest of the world. There’s this belief that in order to be self aware, you have to hole up in a cave on the top of an isolated mountain. Though individuality does occasionally require reclusion, for the most part being an individual is actually enhanced by being in a relationship.
I have found that my individuality is actually reinforced through being a twin. Even on the mornings when I walk out of my bedroom only to discover that Erin is wearing the exact same shirt as I am, I am still very much aware of my individuality. Society’s assumption that we have identical personalities instead of simply having identical DNA has forced me to acquire an intimate understanding of who I am and what I believe.
If you had asked me when I was five years old whether I enjoyed being a twin, my reply would have been an emphatic NO in the way only a five year old can deliver, with hands on the hip and pouted lips. However, as I grew older and older, I came to realize that being a twin had perks beyond confusing my ninth grade Chemistry teacher. Being a twin has allowed me to experience a deeper love than I have ever felt, one that has survived everything from birth to braces to college. So now when people question me about my twinhood, I simply smile and tell them that she is the evil one, yes we have ESP, and that I love being a twin.
I believe that I am a living testimony to the coexistence of love and individuality.
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