Life With a Twin
By: Romi Tendler
I am so excited to write our first blog post and hope to have many posts on here from friends and strangers as we grow a loving, accepting, and honest community. My goal is for A Sister Brand to create a safe place, a place where we can feel free to express ourselves and share our stories with one another.
I thought really hard about what I wanted this first blog post to be. There are so many things I care deeply about. But for this first blog post, I wanted to share my experience as a twin.
Let’s start with the fact that Lianne and I were always a one package deal and often referred to as one entity because you would most likely not see one without the other (except at birthday parties and sleepovers where Lianne would go and I would stay home until about 5th grade due to my separation anxiety!). We moved to America from Israel when we were 8 years old with not one word of English under our belts (our mom is actually Scottish but our parents preferred to keep English as their secret language when they didn't want us to understand). We were so lucky to have each other and be able to be in the same classroom during 3rd grade to allow us to have an easier transition. I only have positive thoughts and memories about this time in my life as either none of our classmates made fun of us or we just didn’t understand if they were. Fast forward to high school, this was a time where Lianne and I pretty much had the same friends and Lianne always joked that she needed to go off to college on her own to learn how to make her own friends (more on that later).
Lianne and I have many similarities and differences. I am more of an extrovert and Lianne an introvert, neither one of us is competitive, we both love chocolate, Lianne is very patient and I’m not so much, and we’re both sensitive and caring. It’s funny because we studied the same major in college but Lianne knew she would continue to grad school and receive her Marriage Family Therapist License (which she did immediately after graduating) while I just enjoyed Psychology courses, but knew I wouldn’t pursue a career as a therapist. Lianne has always known what she wanted to be and she is truly meant for the job and is the hardest worker I know - something I really admire about her.
When Lianne went away to college in Tucson, Arizona, I knew that I was not ready to go away to school and that I would stay at home during my college years (I started at Cal State Northridge and later transferred to Pepperdine University). I remember this decision coming easily to me, however, hearing friends and those around me talk about their dorm rooms and moving plans did sometimes make me question if I was making a mistake. Looking back I’m so grateful to have followed my intuition because I definitely wasn't ready to move out and be away at school. Being apart during college was a challenge but the best thing we did for ourselves. We gained a separate identity from one another and while we stayed super connected, we created our own friendships, our own memories. I think it was the first time I really worked on my self esteem and confidence - it's possible I never really had to because I always had her by my side making me feel better about anything I felt insecure about. If anything being apart during our college years (and then later when I was living abroad for a few years) made us even closer.
Being a twin is definitely deeply embedded in my being, but we are also so different that I never felt like I was living in Lianne’s shadow and she never felt she was living in mine. We cheer each other on and celebrate each other’s victories and are there to pick up the pieces when we need to. As I've grown older, I have learned to be more and more grateful for my relationship with Lianne and of course with Emmy as she often feels like she's our triplet (only 6 years younger)! I would be completely and utterly lost without Lianne and Emmy and am the luckiest to have them both as my best friends!