Happy Birthday To You (Plural)

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I’m going to steer away from making this a “strictly” music post.  Don’t worry.  There are two playlists at the bottom, but they’ll seem kind of pointless unless you read this post.

So today is a very important day.  I know, I know.  You might be thinking to yourself:  “What’s today?”  Well, let me tell you…

IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I’m not too sure how I feel about turning 25.  Here are some turning points for me about becoming 25 years old:

  • Lower car insurance
  • Belonging in a new survey demographic  (Goodbyeeeee 20-24!  Hellooooo, 25-29)
  • Too old to try out for “The Real World” (I never was going to, but now that ship has officially sailed)
  • Can legally rent a car by myself
  • Only 10 years away from being eligible to run for President (Don’t worry, not going to happen… Although…)

Despite what many might think, this past year brought so much growth into my life. Personally, emotionally, socially…  I truly don’t think there’s an area of me that didn’t grow this year.  So far, 2011 has been my “discovery” year, and I appreciate who it has helped me to become.  The growth that I thought would happen during college never really occurred.  Sure, I gained more knowledge academically, met some great mentors/friends/my soulmate… but I didn’t feel like I was growing much as an adult/person.  When all of my energy was focused on “getting those grades,” participating in as many extra curriculars as possible, and making friends/having fun (remember, college really is the best time of your life), it was hard to find time to focus on myself.

This year has allowed me to dig deep and do some introspection which I had been holding off doing for quite some time.  Do I still feel lost?  A little.  I don’t expect all answers to come my way immediately… but I feel like I’m in such a better place than ever before.  This year isn’t over yet, and I still think great things are headed my way.  I mean, 11 is my lucky number.

So let’s get back on track.  It is my birthday today, and  I actually share my birthday with some cool people!

1.) Robin Williams

Mrs. Doubtfire

2.) Josh Hartnett

3.) Don Knotts (Guy from Andy Griffith Show)

4. Ernest Hemingway

5. Stephanie 

As many of you know, I am a fraternal twin.  Steph was born about 37 minutes before me via natural birth while I was born by C-section on this wonderful July 21 day in 1986, so technically, I’m the baby of the family.  Many of you don’t know what it’s like to share a birthday every year with another person.  In fact, several of you are unaware of what’s it like to even be with someone your age, your genetics, your blood, your sister all the time, every moment, every day… growing up.

Steph and I are pretty opposite people for the most part.  While several of our interests are very similar, our personalities/appearance definitely make us individuals.  Steph is 5′ 8″, lefty, brown eyes, and slim.  Brittany is 5’5″, righty, green eyes, and curvy.  Before going to college, I don’t know how well we got along.  Like any siblings, siblings argue, and when you’re a teenager, those arguments seemed like the end of the world.  Steph and I ended up going to different colleges, and I think that was the best decision we could make as twins.  The “adult” friendship we have learned to build over the past 6 years since leaving home would probably have been more difficult to create if we had gone to the same university.  We were no longer “the Twins.”  We were Stephanie and Brittany, and it was like reintroducing ourselves to one another again.  Going to college was the first time we were able to be individuals.

This past weekend, I participated in a tennis tournament and found myself saying to one of the tourney coordinators, “I miss playing tennis with my twin sister.  I feel like I’ve forgotten how to be competitive.”  Steph and I played doubles tennis together in high school, and we were good.  Some people said it was the “silent twin communication” that helped us, and maybe it did.  Regardless, tennis consumed our lives back then, and it was one thing that we truly enjoyed doing together.  This past weekend really made me miss playing competitively against Steph… and just having a female companion there all the time to do something with.  I love Bret and spend a lot of time doing everything I enjoy with him, but it’s different when you do those same things with a female.  I never had to worry about that prior to college because I had a “girl friend” to do something with every single day of my life.

There are several qualities/attributes that Steph has that I would like to do a better job at myself:

  1. Calling people just to talk — Steph will pick up the phone and call anyone any time to check in.
  2. Taking photos — Every year, I make a New Year’s resolution to take more photos of my experiences, but for some reason, that goal gets lost along the way.
  3. Rewarding herself — This might not sound like a great quality, but it is.  Sometimes, a person deserves rewarding themselves whether it’s going for a pedicure or buying that top you’ve been looking at for the past 2 months.  I make buying things such a big deal, so much that I never buy anything.  This non-spending habit has become somewhat stressful for me  because I feel like I shouldn’t purchase anything but necessities.  I need to learn to reward myself if I want to.  So this weekend, maybe I’ll go and buy a new pair of sandals that I desperately need…
  4. Letting loose and having fun — Don’t get me wrong.  I can have fun.  However, sometimes, in the back of my mind, I can’t help but want to be in “mom” mode:  “Don’t turn the music up too loud!”  “Will we get in trouble for this?”  “I’m too tired…”  These thoughts sometimes prohibit me from just enjoying an experience entirely.
  5. French-braiding her own hair — I wish so bad that I could French braid my own hair.  I would love to be able to go for a run in a French braid instead of a ponytail.  However, I cannot do a French braid.  Steph taught herself how to French braid her own hair when she was like… 8 years old, and I think it’s fantastic.
It is one thing to have a sister — whether it’s older or younger.  It’s another thing to have a twin sister.  We have had our share of ups and downs, but we have had to go through the same kind of life changes at the same time… all the time.  It has been comforting to know that I will always have Steph to go to no matter the situation.  There is a different kind of sisterly bond that we have that many of you will never be able to experience.  Bret and I will officially be together for 6 years in September.  Dan and Steph also met during their freshmen year of college (7 months after).  The four of us have been able to create a wonderful friendship that I also don’t think many SIL/BIL’s get to create.  I’m excited for our future together as we all continue to grow older each year.
Steph.  Obviously this post is for you.  Thank you for being there for me the past quarter century (yes, we’re that old).  You have been so supportive of me over the years, and I really appreciate all the advice and laughs you have given me through some harder times.  I really can’t think of anyone else I’d rather spend my birthday with than you 🙂

I made two playlists.  One playlist is comprised of songs that revolve around memories that Steph and I have shared over the years.  The other playlist is a song about sisters/birthdays/getting older.

Thanks for taking the time to read ❤

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