What It's Like To Be A Twin


For some reason whenever I mention my brother and people cotton on to the fact that we’re the same age they have an instantaneous, and almost identical, reaction that goes something along the lines of a squeal followed by a look of amazement as they exclaim “ooh you’re a twin?!”.

Well yes, yes I am.

To be honest it’s never seemed like a big deal to me. We obviously grew up together and so it just being the two of us was normal: shared toys, shared bedroom, shared birthday. As we grew up we went to school together, then we didn’t, then we did again. The only time our twinship was made glaringly obvious to me was when I joined his school at 16 and was given the delightful nickname of “girl Tait” (Tait being his own nickname). Thankfully people got bored of that after a while and learnt to call me Liza.

I honestly don’t think there has been much of our childhood that was different from any siblings with a close age gap, aside from the obvious birthdays. Although when I celebrated the only birthday I have ever had by myself in Abu Dhabi last year I didn’t like it – I’ve never been used to having the full attention and it was just too strange.

I guess the most interesting part is the whole being in the same womb thing, although apparently we weren’t very nice to each other – I used to kick him all the time! We were also created by that magic little process called IVF, so I like to joke that we’re fake twins, although to be honest I’ve enjoyed it so much that it makes me sad the genes don’t run in our family. The one thing I do know is that we were very expensive to create, and we’re yet to determine who was the buy one and who was the get one free…

Receiving grades at the same time can be tough. Most of the time people don’t compare us but being given letters on a sheet of paper at the same time makes for a side by side contrast. Luckily we've chosen different career paths and he’s incredibly supportive of me which I am always grateful for, plus I’m equally proud of him and often brag to my friends that my brother is a medical school at a highly selective university.

I definitely appreciate him more now that we don’t live together. We’ve gone from spending the majority of lives around each other to barely seeing each other four times a year and I think we’re a lot nicer to each other for it.

The absolute worst thing, though, is when people ask if we’re identical. It's just not biologically possible, and if you don't understand why you'll be in for a nasty shock when someone shows you.
On a more serious note I like being twin. I like that we grew up together, went through everything together, and now we’re living life at the same rate together. Sometimes, when he’s being protective, he feels like my big brother. Sometimes, when he’s being a dork, he feels like my little brother. But mostly he’s just my twin.

And the coolest part? For our 21st birthday the geek bought me a DNA helix for my charm bracelet; so I’ll always have a bit of twinny genes with me.