People often ask, "What's it like being a twin?". They gaze at us with an expression not that different to awe, and the criticalness of this gaze renders me kind of uncomfortable and slightly embarrassed. How do you even answer that question? Over the years my answers have varied from responses that sound more like questions; "It's... normal?", to a blatant "it's cool" or "You know... it's alright".
The truth is I don't think any pair of twins could answer that question with such strength and purpose that shatters the gaze of our peers. To us, being a twin is normal, and it is cool, it is alright...but we honestly couldn't tell you what makes twins so special... to us we are just like incredibly close siblings.
It's always been the two of us and it always will be. Like two different sides of the same coin both Maddie and I are utterly similar, and it shocks people to find out that we aren't in fact identical. They get agitated and rave "No you ARE identical", as if we don't know. We are different, and it sometimes can be hurtful that people can't look past our similarities and see our differences.
We have similar features; blue eyes, long hair, small upturned noses (which we both despise), little chins, lanky figures, very little (if any) curves... But I always am proud to note the differences; I'm slightly taller with darker hair, a longer face (thanks daddyo), slightly smaller ears (cheers mum), and she is slightly fairer, blonder, with a cuter rounder face, more fairy kiss freckles, a birthmark... honestly the list goes on.
Genuinely, my favourite thing in the world is when someone takes the time and effort to get to know us both, they get to know our physical traits and our personalities and say "You guys really are different". Sure it takes time, but it's really quite lovely to hear. You can go your whole life hearing teachers and mentors saying "Everyone is unique and different", but very few people think that it applies to twins. We are different and we are our 'own' person. Just because our appearance is similar, it doesn't mean out personalities are.
Maddie, for example would prefer a day at home, tucked in bed alone watching some anime with a bag of chips compared to my wanting to go out for lunch and for a stroll through a park. She can marathon anime and period drama television shows and movies for days on end whereas I need to do something productive with my brain in order to feel sane. I can be quite strongly spoken and opinionated whereas Maddie knows where to draw the line and back off. She prefers cake, I prefer ice cream, she prefers our mums home cooked vegetable pasties, I prefer stir frys or pasta. Our differences range from personality, to food, to movies, to books, music, makeup and clothes. Seriously we differ on so many levels and I really wish people could look past the 'twin thing' and see us as unique individuals.
Our clothes for instant vary enormously. We are lucky enough that both our 'styles' allow us to share items of clothing, but they look so different on each of us. Maddie prefers a 'girly' attire of long, flouncy skirts, blouses and bows, puffy materials and pastel colours, full red lips and hair a halo of blonde curls. I prefer more of simplistic black based outfit, or a colourful skirt with a simple shirt, simple eyeliner, a bold dark lip and 'no-fuss' hair. Through our clothes, our personalities shine through.
A person we both went to school with was in our classes for three years and throughout those three years there was not one moment where he could get our names right. We completely understood of course, it's happened all our lives but it can get tiresome when before having a conversation people have to ask, "Wait, are you Tayla or Maddie?". We understand the difficulty, but we don't understand what makes it so difficult. We've known our fair share of twins over the years, and we've come across ones as close as us, twins that 'despise' one another, twins that aren't close, and twins that don't really share a bond. Each twin was their own person, with their own unique personality and tastes... even the so-called identical ones.
I think the best answer I can give to the age old questions is this; being a twin is really incredibly special. For me, and I know I speak for Maddie as well, being a twin means having a huge responsibility as a sibling, as a friend, and as a person. You are there for them through everything; the lazy days, the fun adventures, the first jobs, the crushes, the fights, the heartache, the joy, the insignificant nothings, the somethings... literally everything. You're a shoulder to lean on, to cry on, to support. You're a best friend, a sister, but so much more. Me and Maddie are impeccably close; we know one another's darkest and brightest moments, and it's so comforting to know she's across the hall or around the corner. It feel 'right' when she's near and the anxiousness we both feel when the other is upset or hurting is just one example of the relationship twins have. We are so very lucky and fortunate to have a 'built-in best friend', and I wouldn't want it any other way.
You're the greatest Maddie, even when you drive me nuts with your rattling on about whatever you're watching, or when you gush over the most random topics.
Love from your twin (the better one ;)) Tayla oxo