28.1.20

The magic of twin-ship


I’ve been sitting on posting these photos for seven months now. Mostly because I couldn't find the words to describe this lady right here and the bond we share. For those who know, you know who this is. Everyone else: Meet my (fraternal) twin sister, Lisa! When she came to visit me in London last June, I forced nudged her to do a photoshoot with me. And this is what we came out with. 

Being twins, we have so many photos together as babies and kids, but we actually don’t have that many together as adults. Before I moved, she was my primary blog photographer and spent most of the time behind the camera. I’m so happy she was willing to be on the other side this time around. Photoshoots can be scary but like most things in life, Lisa will do them if I prove that I didn’t die doing it first. This one we faced together. 

This wasn’t a regular photoshoot and these aren’t just photos. To me, they evoke emotions — ones we proudly show on our faces — and not just the calm and happy ones. They tell a story of our twinness and the many ways we co-exist in the world. From the cuddly to the sassy, to the unbreakable hand-holding and the pretending to be civilized outside a cafĂ© photo, I hope you get a sense of what we’re truly like, not just through my words, but through the images too. 


This visit was incredibly special to me. Lisa is the most important person in my life; She’s my best friend and partner for life. If there was a geographical equivalent to the love I have for Lisa, London would be it. Spending time with the person I love most in the city I love the most was, well, a love explosion, if you will.

The lovefest lasted until the moment I had to unhinge my arms from her waist at the airport departures gate. Being a twin is not easy. On the one hand, Lisa and I (I’ll refer to us as “we” moving forward) get to experience a rare bond that only 3.3 per cent of people do. Being a twin is vastly different from having sisters or brothers, and lightyears different from being an only child. Only twins truly understand the bond we have, although not all twins remain close throughout their lifetime.


We’re in the ‘close forever’ box

We have had the immense pleasure and joy of being very close since babies. The love, friendship, and twin-ship (if you will) that we have is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever experienced. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for her and I can always rely on her just the same. There’s been a lot of research done on twins. We’ve learned that twins bond to each other in the way non-twin children bond to their parents. So, when twins separate, they feel the same difficulties that non-twin children feel when they move out of their parents’ home. 


Twins living in different cities

We’ve not lived in the same city for two years now. When we first moved away from each other (Lisa moved away for school), we spent the first few months crying a lot while spending every moment we could on Facetime, mostly while the camera watched us do our everyday tasks (like a baby monitor of sorts).


It was really, really, hard

Living in the dark underbelly of the metaphorical rainbow twin-ship bridge exposed how close our relationship is. We’ve never existed without each other. It’s no wonder we didn’t really know how. And this is why ripping the twin separation band-aid was equally painful and crucial to our growth as people — and as twins. 


Moving to London 

This has been my dream for many years. I had to make many sacrifices to come here and live out this dream, and my family and friends back home have had to do the same. Lisa has been so supportive. Even though it was my choice to move here, she has had to suffer the pain of us being apart. Despite this, she’s always cheered me on and has put me above her own feelings and desires of wanting me home.  


We can feel the distance 

When I packed up my life to move to London, I wasn’t worried about the challenges that would come my way. I was mostly worried about how we would deal with being so far away. The timezone is one thing but being so physically far away is a hard one to swallow. As twins, we aren’t telepathic but we do have a strong energetic connection and we can feel the distance between us. 


How have we survived? 

Some days we do and sometimes we don’t. We have a strict FaceTime schedule. While I always know what she is up to and we get to see each-other’s face every day, I am missing out on the little things. Whether it’s doing groceries or cleaning the house, everything was easier when we did it together, and we made it fun. Seeing her face when I come home from work and her “bothering me” asking how my day is like a dog who’s greeted it’s owner at the door. These are the things I miss the most. 

PHOTOS BY LEANNE DIXON

Because of you, I am 

Lisa gives me life and she inspires me to be better. When life knocks me out, she is the reason I can keep going. The bond we share is forever. It’s infinite. It’s rare. I’m grateful to get to experience the magic of twin-ship.

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