Questions you’ve always wanted to ask twins, answered.

​Well, these past few days have actually been pretty eventful. As some of you may know, that’s because every year from August 3rd to the 5th is know as Twins Day. Every year since 1976 there’s a ginormous gathering of twins in the city of Twinsburg, Ohio. And as even less of you know, I myself am an identical twin. Yep, you might’ve seen some pictures in the gallery and thought I just had a similar-looking brother (that has happened before, by the way). But I am indeed a twin, and as identical as they can get.
Now, the one major thing that comes with being a twin is something that becomes apparent at a very early age for most. All the time, when meeting someone and they find out you’re a twin, a specific battery of questions is bound to follow. Not that it bothers me–most of the time–it’s just that it’s the same exact questions every time. And some of these questions are so asinine that I physically groan every time I’m asked them. Of course, I  always try to answer out of respect for their curiosity, but still, I sometimes cannot help but to be annoyed. Here are the most common questions that I and my twin brother have always been asked, answered with honest and candid responses from my point of view.
What’s it like being a twin?

Now, it took me a good while to understand this question. “But what’s it like though? Having another actual copy of you running around”. And at first, it didn’t make sense to me. What did they mean “what’s it like”? They’re just there. I literally don’t even think about it half the time. I couldn’t comprehend why people thought it was so monumental and life-changing that there’s somebody who looks like me. But then I gave it some thought. I’ve been a twin for my entire life; they’ve been a twin for none of it, and they never will be. Something unique and relatively uncommon is something bound to ask questions. And while it may seem normal to me, it raises a lot of honest questions from others who haven’t experienced it. So I’m more understanding.
Honestly, there’s only one good answer to this. Just imagine for a second that you have a sibling. Now imagine that the sibling is the exact same age as you. Now imagine that that sibling looks pretty similar to you. That’s exactly what it’s like. It’s not like a mirror-image, carbon copy. Step into a futuristic cloning machine, and what comes out will NOT be a twin. A twin is a completely separate person with a completely separate personality. When you look at your twin, it’s not like looking at a mirror. We’re “two and the different”, as I’ll put it. 
There’s only one intrinsic benefit of being a twin that I can think of. At any stage of life that you’re in, you have someone else there with you alongside you, that’s always been alongside you, and that is also in that exact same life stage. Because of this, twins have some of the strongest and unbreakable bonds there is. That’s the part that I’m most grateful for.
Which one is older?

Well, in my case, I’m the older one.  My younger twin brother, Travis, was born 5 minutes after me. 
This is one of the first questions people ask usually, and thinking about it, I don’t know why that’s the case. I mean, it’s not that important really; the time between the two is mostly insignificant. 
The average length between twin births is about 17 minutes, although there are extremes. It can be as low as a few seconds due to c-sections, and can go up to 3 hours and beyond if the woman is having difficulty. The record, however, is 84 days, 87 depending on who you ask. That’s very rare and absolutely astonishing, though.
Which one is smarter?

This is one of the ones that I genuinely don’t like being asked. It’s not like we went and got our IQs tested just so we could tout the numbers during some meaningless icebreaker. What’s the point of even comparing that? Would you only ask questions to the smarter one? Would the dumber one seem like the weaker one? Subconsciously that’s probably it, so I usually just say “probably me” and we both have a laugh. But it’s truly a dumb question. The differences in our intelligence have just as much to do with each other as the same differences between us and any other person.
Which one is the good one?

This plays into the stereotype perpetuated often by TV, movies, and video games. The one that there’s a clear dichotomy between the personalities of the two twins, and that one is clearly the sweet, charming, and ultra super cool one, and the other is the dark, loner, secretly plotting to murder your family one. Sure, there have been some cases of people murdering their twins and stealing their identities, or one becoming a millionaire and the other becoming a felon. But all of that mostly stems from mythology and common tropes. The true differences in our personalities, and thus the decision as to which is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, is so very subjective.
Which one gets more girls?

We get this one a lot, and it’s so stupid that I’m not going to dignify it with a response.
Do you guys ever switch places?

Eh, it varies. I’ve heard various stories of other twins doing things like switching places with their twin during a date or messing with rarely seen family members. There are some heavily fictional parts, though. People say that I’m lucky cause if I don’t want to take a math test then I can tag him in. Even if that could work, which it probably couldn’t, if I wouldn’t want to take a math test then he probably wouldn’t want to either. 
Do you feel each other’s pain? Do you read each other’s minds? 

This one is debatable. There have been studies suggesting minor links between the mindsets of some sets of identical twins. But that’s often greatly exaggerated in people’s minds for some reason. Shoot Travis in the foot while I’m not there and I literally won’t feel a thing. If you’re talking about emotionally, though, that’s definitely a thing. It’s pretty psychological; being around someone so closely linked to you makes your emotions pretty much in tune. 
Do you complete each other’s sentences/say things at the same time?

This is the only one on here that’s pretty much completely true. I see it happen a lot with others, and personally, it happens with me and Travis a lot. Several times a week, one of us will be saying something and the other will be like “I was just thinking that!”, Or one will start saying something and the other might finish the rest. It’s a lot rarer, but we do say stuff at the same time a lot. Mostly it’s when people ask a question directed at both of us, and we both reply with the same thing at the same time. But it can be other things too, like both of us yawning at the same time or having the same reaction to a funny part in a movie. It may seem like I’m exaggerating though, so other twins, feel free to weigh in.
I wish I were a twin.

Honestly? You don’t, really. I don’t mean that it’s hell on Earth, but you gotta believe me, you really do get used to it. If you somehow became a twin right now, the novelty would wear off in at least a month, then your life would become boring again.
(in some cases) why don’t you have similar names?

That’s just a cliche that a lot of parents do. Some do and some don’t, but I most certainly prefer the latter. It causes confusion and is more of a novelty sorta thing. I knew two twins where one was named Alexis and the other was named Alexa. God knows how I could possibly tell them apart. If they didn’t walk together the whole time I would’ve thought they were the same person. It’s all in the parenting.
So as you can see, being a twin can cause a lot of social pressure at first meeting. Kinda like living in Los Angeles or being albino or something; people just don’t know, so they ask. Not that it’s impolite, we’re just blasé. So if you see a twin again now, or you’re thinking about that one time you passed a pair of twins and said “I’m seeing double!”, Don’t feel bad; feel aware.  

Shaving My Head: About a Difficult Battle With An Unknown Hair Condition

 

Hello everyone; I must say I’m excited to be posting again.

Last Friday (May 25, 2018) was one of the more eventful days as of recently. Emotionally, I had (and still have) been feeling better than ever than in the past few weeks, even months. My emotional state on the positive side, I’ve been having much more motivation to do things and a lot more ideas, as well. Things are looking up, and I’m grateful. But there’s one issue that has been sort of an elephant in the room when talking about recent months. And that issue is: hair loss.

At 19 years old, that’s most certainly an unusual thing for me to be dealing with. But still, that’s the hand I’ve been dealt. The causes have been going on for probably about a year now, but it’s actually accelerated in the past 3 months or so. In fact, in early April, there was a point where I had lost more hair in 2 weeks than in the previous 2 or 3 months. Eventually, it got to the point where my hair was getting weird and patchy, and of course, a lot shorter than I would have liked. It soon got to the point where I was forced to make a decision: start all over again and take good care of my hair and the situations causing the hair loss, or force myself to deal with my uneven hair. I was hesitant at first, for I hadn’t had a haircut in over 2 years prior, but eventually I decided that the aesthetic benefits would be much more better if I chose the latter of those options. And that I did.

Now as I mentioned in the video, there are two reasons that this whole thing started. The first and the primary reason is a disorder known as trichotillomania. Now this can be difficult to talk about sometimes, but I’m gonna do this anyways. I feel like I should educate the public a little, and be more transparent with what’s going on. Trichotillomania is a condition that causes people to have an impulsive urge to pull out their own hair. It’s similar to OCD, given that the urges are sort of a tick, or an “addiction”, for a real lack of a better phrase. It’s not something you consciously do. It’s not like I think “Okay, haircut time!” and start pulling out my hair. It’s different than that. It’s unconscious. It’s comparable to how you can have a bowl of popcorn next to you while watching TV and the whole thing will be done before you know it. You don’t particularly desire the popcorn, but you just keep on eating it, just because. That’s basically the same feeling, really, but instead of popcorn it’s tugging on hairs or small clumps of hair until they come out. Shaving all hair is the best option for many trichotillomaniacs, because 1) you run out of stuff you can pull, and 2) it undoes much of the damage done by the condition.

That’s the main reason, but not the only one. Additionally, I’m on a medication known as Lithium Carbonate. It’s commonly and most often used to treat Bipolar Disorder, which I have regrettably been diagnosed with. Things were going well for the first few months I was taking it, things were pretty good. But then, after doing some more research on the effects of medications, and I read that lithium caused hair loss for a lot of people. I didn’t think about it a lot at first, but then I started being more observant. Whenever I’d wash or rub my hair, tons of it would just fall out without much effort at all. That scared me a lot, and I eventually consulted with my psychiatrist. She confirmed that it was a side effect, and that if the hair loss persisted–which it did–that she’d half the dosage and proceed from there. So although I’m taking a lot less of the medication, I still feel like that was a huge contribution to my decision to shave my head.

But things don’t just stop now that I’m almost bald. There’s a series of other things I will try to do in order to make sure my hair grows back better, stronger and longer, and that I don’t fall back and undo all of my progress. Here are what they are:

-Using a fidget toy, more specifically a fidget orb, in order to keep my hands busy and away from my head

-Using a multivitamin or a supplement such as biotin, as well as using a special shampoo, such as Jamaican Black Castor Oil, which I’ve heard highly of

-Not washing my hair every single day. Doing so would dry out the scalp, damaging hair and making it break easily. Only doing so every few days will preserve natural oils produced by the scalp, moisturizing and keeping things soft

-When it gets long, combing my hair regularly, and possibly keeping it braided. Not doing so would cause tangles that makes the hair less healthy and easier to pick.

After all this, I’m still very optimistic for the future. Besides this, I actually feel pretty good. I think the biggest issue with this will be dealing with self confidence/dysphoria issues. That’s just another in a long line of things I need to work on, though. Needless to say, I’m gonna keep on trying, and a year from now I’m most definitely going to make an update. Look out!

Writing Ideas

Hello all, and happy Thanksgiving time! For those of you who recognize it, that is.

So, I know I’m keeping up the pattern of sparsely posting here and neglecting to keep up. I actually was about to make a post yesterday, about my experience working at a haunted house; sort of a late Halloween season-themed post. But then, I made a decision. I remember why I made this blog—to share all of the awesome writing, art, and spiritual concept I love. And I realize that I’m starting to stray farther from that that I’d thought.

So now, I’m collecting a bunch of different writing ideas from you guys and doing some of them, and putting them here on my blog. This is a good way for me to what people are interested in and to continue with my writing at the same time. It’ll be fun to see what you guys want to see, and I’ll have a great time making your ideas come to life.

I do also have some ideas of my own that I’m working on, and I’ll still work on those as well, but I’d still like to take on some new ones. So if you have anything that you want to be done, any poems or short stories, send your ideas my way! Poems and short stories are my forté, and you can check out some of the other things I’ve done by searching throughout this blog. Have an amazing day, and I can’t wait to hear all of your wonderful ideas!

 

My First Month As A College Student

I became a college student this week.

Yes, it’s true, and I can imagine what you’re thinking right now. “It’s the end of September! What kind of school are you going to that starts their classes so late?”. And if I were you, I’d be thinking the exact same thing. But I will explain.

My classes did in fact start last month – August 28th, to be exact. It happened, but I’d say that I was quite unprepared for college. The summer was not focused on my education, but rather my excessive sleep and several empty promises. I sort of lost my way, I guess. High school tired me out so much and I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do with myself. I didn’t even decide for sure where I was going to college until early/mid August, and before then, my plan was to just get a job, earn some money and go with the flow. But it wasn’t as easy or as simple as I thought. I had to choose college in order to have some order and a foundation in my life.

A week before classes started and it finally sunk in what was going to happen. College. The official next big step in my life. I’d be looking back at it for my entire life, no doubt. Though I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t like the idea, I decided to just go through the motions, do what I could. “Do what you gotta do so you can do what you wanna do.”

Well, in short, it wasn’t so hot at first. The first day felt normal in an odd way; I hadn’t at all absorbed what was going on. I wasn’t as there as I should’ve been. The whole week was like that, and I just went along with it, treating it as something that I had to just get up and do. And I thought that that would be the whole college experience, and I was thoroughly disappointed. I felt like I didn’t fit in there, like everyone knew what they were doing besides me.

But things got better on their own. Earlier on I’d agreed with myself that I’d try my hardest to make something out of the college experience, to not squander it and get good grades and to actually do something. So I guess that’s when I started having to implement it. More and more work got assigned, and I had to adapt.

And this week is when I realized, it happened. It wasn’t like I instantly became aware and successful in college life, but that I came to a realization. It was just after class on Wednesday, and I was sitting right outside of the library, and I was thinking about all the things I had done. I just left class early. I worked on my homework and studied by myself. I saw a cute girl and wanted to say hi. I evaluated what my days had been spent doing and I realized: I was a college student. The way I acted and the things I did finally reflected it. At that moment I felt it, and it was different than how I’d felt on the 28th of August. And it was okay.

Now I hope I’ve avoided turning this into a meaningless babble about my recent college experience. But I hope you guys understand my feelings, and I’d love to know if any of you have been through anything similar. Comment below with questions or comments; I love to hear about other people’s experiences as well.

My content, or lack thereof

Hello all, this is just a quick post to remind you that I still exist.

I love creating content for people, and even though I’m just getting off the ground, I put a lot of time and thought into what I post. It’s been a little over a month since I posted something on here, and even then, posting was not as frequent as I wish it was. I can tell you 100% honestly that I’m working hard to change that. There’s one huge project I’m working on, and several changes should be coming to this blog in order to improve. As of now, the circumstances in my life have prevented me from doing all that I want to do, but I no longer want to have that stop me from making good, frequent content.

I hope you guys understand! Although I have yet to make a formal post about this, I now have social media that should have some other interesting things on there as well. I’m on Facebook as /thelikewisepage and on Instagram as @likewiseofficial.see you guys around, and I’m sure you’ll love that big project I have in store!

What my life has been recently

Hello all! Whatever has brought you to this blog to continue reading my posts, whether it be my life, my traveling, or my writing, I greatly appreciate you being here.

As of right now, posting on here has been difficult. It’s not that I don’t want to post, it’s that I don’t have much time to do it. College admissions, schoolwork, my writing, and taking care of my mental health have been my top priorities and have thus been taking up the most of my time. Honesty is beautiful when it comes to my fans and my viewers, and honestly, life has been very stressful these past several weeks. Hence, I’ve found myself with the inability to post nearly as much as I want to.

That being said, I expect things to pick up in a few weeks, at least. Finishing high school on the 26th of this May, I’ll have a lot more time and energy to focus on my blogging and my writing career—my passion in life and the main thing I want to do with myself.

To make things clear, I’m not going on a hiatus or anything; I just think I owe you guys an explanation, and that’s what this is. I’ve made a promise to always be as open and honest as possible with my viewers, and even though I’m in the beginning stages, this is no exception. I appreciate all of the support you have given me thus far, and will continue to give me in the future!