You are that. Wait, perhaps not. You and Anna were always dressed in yellow and red, but now you’re both wearing green. No clue. Every year around the holidays, my mom and I dress in festive sweaters and examine old family photos like DNA investigators. While my fraternal twin sister and I now, in our late twenties, look somewhat different (and, thankfully, dress ourselves), we spent our first ten years on this planet looking nearly identical. It’s funny how, when you look at old photos of yourself as a child, you can’t tell if the smiling face in the picture is really yours or not. Most of our memories are shared, so there are a lot fewer photos of either of us alone. From the womb onward, we shared a bedroom, clothes, friends, and interests. We had identical grades in elementary and secondary school and SAT scores that were only 10 points apart. We were best friends since childhood and remain so today, but there was a time not so long ago when this one identity took a toll on our friendship and almost brought it to an end. Sibling rivalry has existed for as long as humans have walked the Earth. Disputes over who was the smartest or best at prehistoric tennis may have even involved dinosaurs. The healthy catalyst for both parties’ growth can be competition. Anna and I encouraged one another to do well in school throughout elementary and middle school. Both of us aspired to go above and beyond what our parents had envisioned for us. However, in high school, I felt threatened by the pressure to live up to popular conceptions of success. My wombmate was wholly responsible for my sense of self. To our extended family and friends, we were a package deal, and we also provided cheap entertainment for curious customers at the grocery store. We don’t complete each other’s sentences, no.
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