Last weekend, I made my first trip to the desert. 

My little sister was graduating from the University of Arizona, so our whole family trekked down to celebrate. 

I’d never been to Arizona before. I had always meant to go visit Emily in college, but I was always too poor, or too busy, or too wrapped up in my oh-so-important social life. 

Stepping off the plane in Arizona was almost like stepping onto another planet. Everything is so dry, dusty, and red. There are cacti everywhere — growing in clusters like nests of eggs, or standing as tall as any California oak tree. The ground is perfectly flat, until these massive mountains suddenly burst out of the ground.  It felt kind of alien at first, but I loved it. 

It’s funny, because my sister and I always joke about how we’re complete opposites. She’s tall, I’m short. She’s tan, I’m freckled. I’m a writer, she’s an artist. She’s athletic… I am not. And our tastes in everything are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Walking around Tucson felt like one more thing to add to the list. Her apartment was surrounded by dry dirt and cacti. I saw more than one tumbleweed when I was down there. And she spent the majority of her weekends in college attending pool parties. 

Eugene couldn’t have been more different. It’s cold, damp, and very green. September through April, you spend most weekends sprinting in the rain to huddle over a pitcher of cider at Max’s. Rare bouts of sunshine result in Saturday BBQs and floating the river. 

(then and now)

But I like that we’re opposites. I know Emily does too. When we were little, we used to try so hard to be twins. We would match constantly, and force each other to play the same games and watch the same movies and eat the same foods. As we got older, our differences became more and more obvious, and I’m glad that we embraced them. I think we understand each other more now.

But we still have the same smile, we both crinkle up our noses when we laugh, and we both have my mom’s eyelashes.

I think deep down, we’re very similar.

We are sisters after all. 


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