I am always asked tons of questions about what it's like to be a twin. But the truth is, it's an incredibly difficult question to answer. You see, I have no idea what it's like to not have a twin. For the past 28 years, my twin sister and I have been inseparable. Our lives have taken us along the same path, and we love being together.
Though I wouldn't have it any other way, it has definitely taught me some lessons. Here are 10 things being a twin has taught me about life:
1. It's important to share.
As a twin, I have grown up sharing a birthday, sharing toys, moments, thoughts and feelings. It feels good to share it with a sister, brother, family member or friend. Sharing life, joy, happiness or sadness or can often make life feel more fulfilled.
2. Put others' needs first.
I have grown up always having someone to think about. I'm protective of my twin sister, and her happiness is something that's always in the forefront of my mind. She has taught me to think of other people's feelings and try to do right by everyone I meet.
3. Be a good listener and don't judge.
My sister and I talk non-stop. We love a good natter and it's taught us how to really listen to people. We take in each point they are saying and are there for them. With that, also comes understanding and not judging each other. My sister and I don't agree on everything, but it doesn't mean I love her any less.
In life, people need to see the good in others and realize no one is perfect. We all make mistakes or have differing opinions. It doesn't make someone a bad person if he or she doesn't agree with you or does things differently from you. Give nothing but love and a listening ear.
4. Competing with others is a waste of time.
My sister and I have never had a sibling rivalry. We have pretty much done everything together, yet there has never been any jealousy. Life is way more fun when you have someone in your corner. The only person you are competing with in life is yourself.
Become a better version of yourself and grow each day. The person next to you can be a great motivator and inspiration if you allow them to be. Chasing dreams alongside someone can be extremely exciting and make for one hell of an adventure. Supporting others in their endeavors is way more satisfying for the soul than trying to knock them down.
5. Spoilers are a part of life.
One twin will always be faster when it comes to opening birthday presents and Christmas gifts. Over the course of your life, you will be gifted items that are identical and the surprise will be ruined. I'm here to tell you life goes on. You move past it; it's not a big deal. Don't sweat the small stuff.
6. It's OK to be different.
Don't follow the crowd. Even if it seems scary, you can do it. Having someone by your side every step of the way sometimes means you'll tend to stay at the same pace even when you really want to take a step ahead. It's OK to break away from the path and go after what you want. You are your own person and we all have different goals we would like to achieve.
Don't be scared of others judging you; be proud of who you are. Sometimes being a twin means people will assume you are alike in every way. In turn, I have been scared to step outside of the box at times. I've felt insecure about speaking my mind because I've worried people wouldn't like me as much as my twin. But I've learned that being the odd one out in the family is completely OK.
7. Life's greatest blessing is family.
No one compares to my twin sister, or my whole family as a matter of fact. The love I have for them is beyond words. My twin makes me realize that just when you think you couldn't possibly love someone any more, you can. On a daily basis, she does something that makes me realize I would be lost without her.
She is my everything. Treasure those close friendships and connections. Embrace them, and enjoy every minute of life's greatest gift. Family time and being silly with my sisters are some of the best things in life.
8. It doesn't always take two.
I have to be honest, as I get older I realize it doesn't always take two to go to the grocery store. It doesn't always take two to make a decision. It doesn't always take two to make a dream a reality. It doesn't always take two to be confident walking into new territories. While yes, having my twin by my side in all these situations is awesome, I know I am capable on my own.
It has taken me a long time to understand I have it in me to be confident. I have the power and inspiration within myself to take on each day without always needing someone with me. You alone need to build a strong, healthy mind that can take on anything life throws at you.
9. Don't worry about what other people think.
We all have insecurities, and I'm the kind of person who gets very anxious going to new places and meeting new people. Once I'm there I'm usually fine, but I do tend to overthink and worry. Growing up, my twin and I couldn't walk down the street without people looking at us. At school, kids we didn't know would always stare as we walked past. It always made us feel uneasy, like we looked funny or were doing something wrong.
It wasn't until we to our mid-20s, that we finally understood why we got so much attention. We had spent years worrying and feeling like we didn't fit in, but then it hit us: People were most likely looking at us because we look alike. These days, I try not to worry about what other people are thinking. Truth be told, we never know what is going through someone's mind unless we ask.
10. It's no fun keeping secrets.
Being a twin has taught me that when we have problems, we should always let them out and confide in someone. Sometimes, you need to hear someone else's opinion. Sometimes, you simply need a little guidance in the right direction, and sometimes you just need to let it all out and move on. Keeping things bottled up leads to anxiety.
Be strong enough to be confident in who you are. Make decisions, tell people what you think and seek help when you need it. My twin and I share every problem and after we talk, we feel ready to take on the world. FYI, don't ask a twin to keep a secret, either. Twins share everything with one another.
Being a twin has taught me so much about compassion, being myself and making room for others. I think having a sidekick definitely makes life a lot more fun. After all, where would Batman be without Robin? Shh, don't tell her. She's definitely Robin.