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My twin and me

Throughout+her+life%2C+Claire+has+grown+as+an+individual+both+separate+from+and+along+with+her+twin+Chelsea.
Lilly Wu
Throughout her life, Claire has grown as an individual both separate from and along with her twin Chelsea.

For the longest time, I came in twos.

Two matching pink dresses, the label hand-embroidered with L and H: CHelsea and CLaire. Two Elsa costumes for Halloween, a set, the polyester showering blue glitter on the floor, kisses of cerulean snow. Two of everything, a closet of duplicates, like mirror images at a fun house. Since the beginning, I was one and two at the same time — both my twin and I, myself and another, a person and a pair — co-existing simultaneously in a single plane. The most important thing about me became the differences between her and I, which I knew like the back of my hand. Missing dimples, the two-inch difference between heights. A small scar on her cheek. A beauty mark on my face. As I grew, so did that list of differences — until it became long enough to define me.

From the very beginning, being a twin was the first thing that caught everyone else’s eye. I was “that twin” or “that girl with the twin sister.” When I was younger, it didn’t feel bad to be characterized this way — walking into any gathering of adults meant a chorus of “oohs” and “ahs,” a smattering of compliments from every direction. At school, we were a pair, and our double identity helped us stand out. Teachers remembered our names first — Chelsea and Claire — but never which one of us was which; we were together so often that it barely mattered. 

Yet, as we grew older, I began to realize that I was barely my own person. Oftentimes, I found myself struggling to find my own identity, separate from the person who looked so much like me that it was easier to count our differences than the abundant similarities. Everything I did felt like an extension of my sister; everything she did, an extension of me. Even our hobbies were the same — we both spent our days reading the same books, listening to the same music, our ideas so intertwined that countless people asked us if we could really read each other’s minds. 

But that all changed when I entered high school. Suddenly, an entire world unfolded before my eyes, and I was finally free to forge an identity separate from Chelsea. Surrounded by an abundance of opportunities, the two of us went our separate ways to chase individual passions. I joined groups and clubs that had always interested me, like the Epic and Future Business Leaders of America, while Chelsea pursued ASB and Junior State of America. Throughout it all, I found joy in finding footholds in things I had never done before — happiness from my name, bolded on a byline, a sense of pride in capturing moments with a camera, community in hundreds of people at business conferences. On my own, I explored the intricacies of Adobe Photoshop and graphic design. However, we still did many activities together, such as Mock Trial and Indesign, collaborating in our shared ideas and learning from our unique experiences. I have grown, both separate from and along with Chelsea. I am my own person, but being a twin helped me become more uniquely me.

Now, after everything, I count my twos differently. Two is the number of minutes between when we were born. Two is the number of times my friends and family sing happy birthday. Two is a peace sign by my eyes, my own quirk that shows up every time I take photos. Two is a great number to come in.

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About the Contributors
Claire Guo
Claire Guo, Staffer
(she/her) Claire Guo is a sophomore and first-year staffer in the Epic. She loves reading, writing, creating, and petting her dog.
Lilly Wu
Lilly Wu, Opinion Editor
(she/her) Lilly is a junior and the opinion editor for the Epic. Some of her hobbies include dancing, watching cdrama and going to amusement parks.

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