Senior Speeches: Darius Bell ’19

September 13, 2018


I missed the days that we were the twins everyone thought of as the same person, right down to our names. I still do miss those times, but I now value the lessons that being away from him taught me. 

Each year, seniors at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School deliver a speech to their peers on a topic of their choosing in the Newhall Auditorium. Often equal parts clever and moving, emotional and personal, each speech offers a glimpse into the lives, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of SSM seniors.

Throughout the 2018-19 school year, we will share these speeches with the SSM community and hope that you enjoy the humor, wisdom, and powerful reflections conveyed by our senior students.

 

Brotherhood is one of the most unique and special relationships that one can have with another person. Although it is a broad term, there is no brotherly bond closer than a twin. Everyone tells me that they wish they had a twin. Little do they know, the struggle to identify as an individual with someone so similar to you by your side is immense. The question is: how do you really become your own person?

My brother Marius and I are fraternal twins, and we grew up identical in every aspect besides our appearances. Our names, Darius and Marius, are by far the weirdest set of siblings I know, and no, I have no idea why our parents decided to mess with everyone like that.

It was a unique gift to have an automatic best friend straight out of the womb. From the moment we took our first breaths, we did everything in unison. It was us against the world. We were the same, from the way we dressed to the way we ate. We had the same friends and played the same sports. We traveled the world together with our family, visiting 26 different countries, and learning about a vast array of cultures along the way.

The summer going into our freshman year, my brother decided that hockey wasn’t for him anymore. This was quite sad for me to hear because we had always been on the same team with the same friends, going to the same places every single weekend. I didn’t want to imagine playing without him, but I respected his decision. That year, I ended up playing for a team in Tampa. Practices were a five-hour drive each way from our home in Miami. I would return home extremely late on those nights, and I missed a considerable amount of school. Consequently, I didn’t see much of my brother that year and we slowly began to drift apart without even realizing it. The months crept by, and we spent less and less time around each other. Being so preoccupied with my busy schedule I didn’t notice our relationship deteriorating.

Finally when I came to Shattuck for my sophomore year, it started to eat away at me. At first, it was just a few moments of sadness here and there which I could push to the side of my mind. But eventually it rolled over my mind like a fog. Dealing with emotions had always been a struggle for me at home, so I was pretty lost when it came to handling this empty feeling. Eventually I started to understand that this was the first chance for both of us to pursue the goals we truly wanted to focus on without any distractions. Although we always had great company with each other at home, it became apparent that we had never really started to form our own identities and personalities. This made things challenging when I finally started to do my own thing away from home.

The summer after my sophomore year, after many deep talks, my brother and I ultimately realized what had happened and started spending more time together again. I was astounded at how much he had grown into his own skin. We talked about how the last two years had been and what we had discovered about ourselves being away from each other. We talked about his new-found passion for music and how he finally had found his calling. I was proud that he had become his own person, but at the same time, a part of me felt incomplete. I missed the days that we were the twins everyone thought of as the same person, right down to our names. I still do miss those times, but I now value the lessons that being away from him taught me. Those memories will always hold a special place in my heart and I know there will be many more memorable experiences to come.  

Marius, thanks for always being the best brother anyone could ask for and for always supporting my decisions even though they might not be the easiest for you to handle. I am confident that you will be able to do what you love and keep figuring out your identity, as I will work on learning who I am as well. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for us both. I love you.

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