— Sister Sister

Being a twin is a gift from the heavens, and it's taught me more than anything else

Alexandra Herstik

There are a lot of “unique” things about my life. I’m first-generation American, to a Mexican mother and Israeli father (who’s also a rabbi). I was born in California, but was raised in the Deep South. I have half my head shaved off, and I’m a witch. But the thing that really seems to intrigue people is that I’m a twin!

My twin sister Alexandra and I were born in San Diego on 2/2. We were seven weeks premature, and although we were both really healthy, we had to stay in the hospital for an extra month. We were tiny sprouts, with Alex weighing 3 pounds 12 ounces. while I weighed 3 pounds 4 ounces.

Gabriela Herstik

Alex’s first memory of me came a couple years later, when she was showing me how to get out of our cribs. She did it gracefully, but when it was my turn, I fell flat on my face onto the table next to my crib. Fair to say — we’ve been through it all together.

When we were born, we were told we were identical; when we took a blood test at 11, we found out we were fraternal. Yes we were heartbroken, and yes we cried. But thankfully, we still managed to stay close growing up.

Gabriela Herstik

Because of our father’s job as a rabbi, we moved around a lot; across the country at age seven, from sunny Los Angeles, California to Buffalo, New York before settling outside Atlanta, Georgia, where we went to middle and high school. Thankfully, moving taught us how to make new friends and be generally sociable people. But that was made much, much easier because no matter where we went, we always had each other, and a friendship that no one could break.

Now, although we’ve always been close (we’ve lived together for almost three years), relationships take work; and that includes twinships, too! But on the beautiful path from wombate to roommate, I’ve learned a lot from being a twin. Here are some of my favorite pearls of wisdom.

Never underestimate the power of loyalty.

Alex has been my wombmate since birth, and there’s no one else that has my back quite like she does. This may not be the case for every set of twins, but it’s the case for us. Although she’s only three minutes older than me, she’s still protective. Whether my car dies and I need a jump, or if I just need someone to tell the creepy guy at the bar that I’m not into dancing with him, Alex is there. And it’s reciprocated. There are very few things I wouldn’t do for my sister. Being a twin is a special bond.

We’ve grown up together, in every sense of the word, and now we take care of each other, protect each other, and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. Having a twin is like having a cheerleader, bestie, and family member in one.

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