Tomorrow marks the beginning of the end. The end of shared birthdays, the beginning of independent January 14th’s. As you get older undoubtedly things of the childhood have to take a backseat. Shared marzipan teletubby and Jemima Puddle-Duck birthday cakes, Paint-Balling parties, sleep-overs in the Science Museum. Good Times.
Tomorrow however, brings the daunting experience of waking up on said birthday without my birthday partner.
These are serious issues. Imagine waking up and finding…finding out you didn’t have an arm. Or a leg. Or were just missing something, something vital that completes the day. You’d feel a bit redundant right? This is the problematic issue that faces twins when they leave the maternal home. No more shared birthdays. I don’t know what i’m going to do. Obviously a day is a day, it starts with a sunrise ends with a sunset and by God’s grace you get through it with few physical or emotional scars. But when it’s the day you remember entering the world ( or if you don’t remember, politely allow older family members to retell it with great gusto), the day you left the confines of the shared amniotic sack and said “Hello!” to anyone who would listen, that’s a pretty big day. For twins we have the comfort of doing it with a friend, together, ensemble.
Naturally we have an inherent desire to be separate. A glorious word. It means Unique, Individual, not half of a whole, but a Whole Whole. Even when you’re not identical, the moment you tell someone you’re a twin they think it’s acceptable to call you by your ‘other half’s’ name. No, we look completely different. You were not confused, you were being lazy.Yet, even though we constantly strive to be separate, there is something comforting that lies at the back of our minds, the fact that we can’t ever really be alone. We aren’t ever separate even when we are (if that makes sense).
Tomorrow will be another step in our ‘separate-individual-wholly-unique’ lives. We shall celebrate our birthday in different cities. I won’t wake up to her sleepy wrinkled face. She won’t see my sleep-encrusted eyes. We won’t do our ritualistic morning talk: i-refuse-to-speak-until-i-brush-my-teeth “fgnfjkgnkg kgbrrgk mrnmrm jbgbgrbkr” (that’s the sound we make, we understand each other perfectly y’know, one of those twin things). It will just be me, waking up to the realisation that I will be rowing in a few hours, and her, the weight of exams on her shoulders.
I hope we won’t be sad.
I hope we won’t feel lonely.
It will feel strange, very strange. I didn’t realise it would come this fast, this separation. But maybe…instead of it being the beginning of the end, it will be the beginning of a new beginning. Instead of just having to share our lives, memories and experiences, we shall choose to share, and be the richer for it. Either way Happy Birthday in advance, ‘nuff love as ever.
“Let your light shine, burning brighter.”