Let Yourself Shine
January 17, 2020
Alexandra Wade

I was born exactly two minutes after my twin sister. Throughout most of my life, I tried to outshine her, to outdo her, to be the “better one.” That unhealthy competition made me lose a lot of pieces of myself along the way: I gave up a lot of myself just so I could show her off.

During our school years, for example, I found myself sacrificing a lot to shine brighter than my sister. Both of us never liked or excelled in math, physics, or chemistry. However, despite how much I despised these subjects and how much work they demanded on my end, I sought to study science. Safe to say it was a struggle. I barely kept my head above water; I had to study and work all the time to improve my grades and excel.

This is just one of many examples in which I did something I didn’t necessarily want to, in which I want in a path that doesn’t suit me, to surpass my sister. Everything she couldn’t do, I did. Everything she wanted to do, I needed to do better. I did things just so she wouldn’t do them before me.

It took me many years to come into my own as a person. After high-school, my sister and I went to different colleges. For me, this was my first chance to be who I am, away from my sister. I finally faced myself in all fields of life, alone, away from the comparison. I discovered my likes, my dislikes, my hobbies, and wishes.

Being away from my sister made me see that we can both exist away from each other while having our own separate identities and lives. It helped me see that both of us can shine and that there is no need for competition. That realization also helped me get closer to my sister, and thankfully, we are in a better place now.

We all have our place in the world. Once we come into our own, we can all shine.

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