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“Kino is like the love child of Jesse Eisenberg and an oatmeal raisin cookie” — Jessie W. (Deputy opinion editor at The Daily Californian)

I’m Kino: the cereal guy from last week. It’s very nice to meet you. I know it’s weird to introduce myself after sharing so much last week. I actually had an entire article written and ready to publish about my aversion toward birds, but I realized that stories are better enjoyed when you have some sort of relationship with the storyteller. So, instead of a story about birds, I’ll take some time to talk about myself — after all, I am going to be here every Monday, at least for a while.

“Kino is short with a tall personality” — Matthew K.

Let’s start simple. I’m doing fine today. My name doesn’t mean anything — although I’m aware that it means “movie” in German. I’m a senior here at UC Berkeley majoring in rhetoric. What am I going to do with that degree? I’m really banking on being famous. Otherwise, it’s back to working at the vet as another cog in the machine. I’m half-Mexican, half-sized and half-baked. Actually, I’m half-Mexican, 5’4” (my eyes are down here) and more like 75% “medicated.” 

When it comes to the real Kino — the mind captaining the vessel that is my body and the person beyond the column — I haven’t really taken the time to get to know him. I never had the time, and neither did a lot of people. I wasn’t made to feel like I was important enough to get to know. I was and am only one person out of billions of other people, and I was taught that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. People didn’t see me unless they tried, literally and figuratively. With this in mind, I asked some friends and colleagues to help me out — to give me some insight on who the “real” Kino is. 

“Kino always seems to be upbeat, positive and cheery. … The reason it amazes me is because he definitely isn’t” — Stella K. (Sports and social media copy chief at the Daily Cal)

Life takes so much time forcing me to be serious that I see no reason to let those feelings persist outside of those unfortunately common, yet fortunately fleeting, moments. I could easily spend my nights wallowing, wondering “why me,” but I don’t want to do that. I want to enjoy as much of life as it will allow me. 

I would much prefer to spend my time laughing rather than crying; it’s a nice change of pace. 

There’s always this small hope in the bottom of my heart that, one day, if enough people think that I’m happy, then I actually will be. If I’m happy, then people will like me, and I won’t be burdening anyone with my emotions. When I normally open up to people, I’m usually met with indifference. At best, a disingenuous “I’m sorry you’re feeling that way,” and a pivot into how they’ve experienced something “similar.” The situations are rarely similar. 

I’m used to being glanced over, literally and figuratively. Me and my problems were too small to matter unless somebody cared to look down. I was greeted with this response from parents, friends, significant others and more. I would wonder, if my feelings don’t matter to the people most important to me, are those feelings truly important?

“Kino still believes there is goodness and hope in the world” — Luis M.

I’ve come to the conclusion that they are important. If my emotions don’t matter to people, then I’m not important to them. I shouldn’t let them continue to be important to me if they don’t feel the same way. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that there is something or somebody for everyone — and I’m lucky that I’ve been able to find things that boost my confidence and self-worth. 

Nike Air Max shoes and curly hair have done the best they can for my height, and the lovely people who wrote these Yelp reviews about me have done a lot more than they realize for my inferiority complex.

“You are wonderful” — Shara U.

Despite being and feeling so small, I’ve realized that I have a support system full of people who do love me and remind me that it’s OK to love myself. They love me for the person I am, and I hope I got to show some of that person today. 

So while I may be “not for everyone,” “a contrarian,” a “bad boyfriend and an even worse ex-boyfriend,” I don’t let those opinions define me. The individual aspects of myself are insignificant. I’m more than just a short person. I’m more than just an opinion columnist. I’m more than just the cereal guy. I am greater than the sum of my parts; I’m Kino. It’s very nice to meet you.

“(He’s) not for everyone, but I think he likes it that way” — Jessie W.

Kino Farr writes the Monday column on the importance of the seemingly asinine. Contact the opinion desk at [email protected] or follow us on Twitter @dailycalopinion.