Happiness Hero: My Sister, Kimmy

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95% of the time I spend with my sister, Kimmy, I want to strangle her.  She and I are like chocolate and vanilla.  Rarely, we can mix well together, but generally, it’s better to just keep us separated.

Keeping with the ice cream metaphor, my Mom says the three of us are like a bowl of Neopolitan.  Each of us was assigned a flavor based on hair color.  We also only really work as a trio, never as a duo.  Vanilla (yours truly) needs chocolate (Kimmy) and strawberry (Nina).  Chocolate and vanilla together without strawberry would result in ice cream death. Without strawberry there to put out fires, chocolate and vanilla would kill each other.

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Even my Dad says its probably better that Kimmy and I live in different states.

Although she gets on my nerves, as sisters do, Kimmy is a happiness hero of mine.  She’s a great example of someone who embraces the theme for this week: enjoying the little things.  It’s also her birthday today.  A very happy 23rd birthday to Kimberly Renee Holtz, the most beautiful comic-book nerd you will ever meet.

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Kimmy finds joy in small pleasures better than anyone else I know.  She savors things I might dismiss as perfunctory, like a California burrito or the airing of a new TV show.  She’s better at living in the moment than I am, and I have a theory why.  I suspect Kimmy is actually a little kid in an adult’s body.

Some of Kimmy's art

Some of Kimmy’s art

Think Tom Hanks in “Big”… on steroids.  Comic books, video games and all things vampire are the lifeblood of Kimmy’s life.  Her ways of finding joy.

Little kids are so awesome because they are encountering the world for the first time.  I don’t think this perspective is lost on my sister.  While we all left Neverland, Kimmy Peter Pan-ed it.  She retained the child-like wonder that slipped away from most of us.

As humans, we tend to forget about the good things that happen in our lives far more quickly than we forget about the bad.  My sister is good at holding on to the good for a little longer than average, and, it seems, forgetting about the bad more quickly.

Kimmy also reminds me to be playful in my life.  We were all little kids once, and it’s important to indulge that side of yourself.  It’s a lot of fun when you actually do it, but I think many of us forget.

When you talk to my sister, her stories whirl around you in circles.  It’s like being inside a tornado of pop culture factoids and fantasy fiction.  Subjects like Rogue’s super hero powers, “True Blood” plot twists, and Perez Hilton’s latest thoughts on Lena Dunham.

My sister has also shown real courage in the past few years.  She got knocked down.  Hard.  But she picked herself up.  She’s been through so much, but she’s move forward.  She inspires me to take things less seriously, enjoy the moment, and never make a mountain out of a molehill.

Who is your favorite super hero? 

X-23, a female clone of Wolverine because she chooses her words, friends, and actions wisely. She makes astute, undercutting observations all the time.  She was born in a lab and they trained her as an assassin and tortured her, and eventually forced her to kill her own mother.  She’s very self-sufficient.  She’s very fair, and just, and she makes good friends.  She doesn’t have any interest in being popular.  She’s been through an incredible amount of pain, but she’s still able to open up to people and new situations.  X-23 has been through so much, that when the team gets attacked, she doesn’t freak out at all, she just calmly goes through the halls, and she’s just there to help.

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(We can learn from all types of heroes, make believe included.)

If you could have a super power what would it be?

X-23’s power, no contest. Or teleportation, but not Nightcrawler shit, there’s a girl named Blink who can teleport to the moon and back.

What makes you happy?

My family, my roommates Halley and Dave, my cat Illy. I like overcoming obstacles at work, it makes me feel valued. I love when I wake up and Illy’s on the pillow next to mine.

Is there a happiness mantra you live by?  

“I shall stay the way I am because I do not give a damn.” – Dorothy Parker

If you’re feeling down, how do you give yourself a happiness boost? 

When I get sad, it depends on how sad I am, but if am I at work I sing “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley in my head.  I follow P Diddy and Rhianna on Instagram.  P Diddy actually posts a lot of inspirational messages.  Rhianna has perspective.  There’s something to be said for living her life and not trying to hide who you are from anyone.  I’m also on SSRI’s (chuckles).

If I’m really sad, if I’m really, really sad, I call someone.

Well, you must be doing pretty good, you don’t call me… 

I call Nina.  No offense.

Have you always felt about the same level of happiness or have you been through a period where you felt about the same level of happiness or have you been through a period where you felt exceptionally happy or unhappy?  If so – why? 

Between March and July of 2011, two trademark tragedies every woman thinks will never happen to them happened to me.  It was a bit of a rocky road from there, but it’s best to compartmentalize things a little bit.  These events from your past that may have been hurtful to you, but you realize that so many women have experienced the same thing.   You realize it’s not all about you.  You can’t have pity parties for a year.  I don’t want to be that person who wallows in sadness.  There has to be a balance between putting your past behind you and dealing with it.

What does imagination mean to you?

I think imagination is being able to work within boundaries as much as anything, because imaginative people can get out of whatever bind they’re in. I like unrestricted imagination, but worry that I don’t cultivate mine enough.

Who is a favorite movie heroine of yours? 

Anne Hathaway in Batman.  I like how unimpressed she is by the male lead of the movie, and how self-sufficient she is.  She’s skeptical, yet optimistic.

Aspirations?

One day, I want to go back to school and be a web developer.  To get my associates in Computer Science and I want to be able to make the pictures in my head become a reality.  Work in advertising someday, preferably be a creative director.

Favorite sound? 

The voices of my loved ones.

What’s your definition of happiness?

Being physically in a place you like with people you love.

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