Hi all Austin here,
On April 28th, 1991 at 6:20 pm Austin Joseph Milan, yours truly, was born, weighing in at a staggering 5 pounds, and standing in at a measly 17 inches. A birth like that of every other except for the fact that a mere 9 minutes later, Shane Joseph Milan, a spitting image of me, was also born. As you may have guessed I am what they call a duplicate, a spare, a look alike, double trouble, or more simply put, I am an identical twin, and yes, you read correctly we even share the same middle name. Being a twin is something that I consider a privilege and I wouldn’t change it if I had the chance. A twin is more than a friend, they are someone who understands you completely, stands beside you through thick and thin, and knows what’s on your mind before you even say a word, in essence they are your other half and Shane epitomizes that.
My appreciation towards being a twin started at young age. No I didn’t appreciate the fact that my parents dressed us alike (thankfully in different colors), but I am grateful for the companionship. As we grew, we learned to take advantage of our unique situation. Shane was always the clever one. He came up with tricks we would play on friends, teachers, and even strangers. Introducing ourselves as the other twin in elementary school turned into switching seats in class in middle school, which eventually turned into me taking his Spanish test in high school. We also, realized that having someone so close to us and who understands us so well helped our self confidence. Knowing that there was always someone to lean on if things took a turn for the worst gave each of us a sense of courage and reassurance.
Since birth Shane and I have been inseparable. The two of us have spent a majority of our 20 plus years together. We have played on several of the same sports teams, share most of the same friends, enrolled at the same university, and even joined the same fraternity. We like to joke that we’ve gone from womb-mates to roommates and from biological brothers to fraternity brothers. We’ve tackled a lot of tasks together but this semester we are taking on a new challenge, separation. Shane is currently studying abroad in the heart of London for the semester with his Communication Design program in the School of Fine Arts. After 20 long years we’ve finally cut the cord. For everyone reading, yes I am doing just fine. We still talk regularly and video chat every few days. Although it is different not having him around all the time, this experience is one that will only make us closer in the long run. Even though there are some things I miss about having him around 24/7 there are some benefits to flying solo. For example, I finally have my own car (only for a semester), no-one has called me the wrong name for the first time in my life, and I will be traveling to the UK to pay him a visit for spring break.
Shane and I have been through it all together. Whether it was the cliché, wearing of the same outfits when we were kids to playing tricks in school we were with each other every step of the way and we always will be, even if he is across the pond. Without Shane I wouldn’t be the man I am today. So in conclusion, even though the cord has been cut, the bond isn’t broken. He is still the peanut butter to my jelly, the spaghetti to my meatballs, he is my other half.