Welcome to the Jungle!!

Well, it's not an original title, but it is super appropriate, so I'm gonna go with it. I'm sitting on a plane right now, typing this to you. And at the same time I'm listening to someone's barking dog, which is under his seat (since when did that become acceptable social behavior??). But anyway…that's unimportant. What is important, is where I'm going!

This evening, I'll arrive in Oaxaca, Mexico, and I can't wait. I know that I talk about this town a lot, but it's because it's changed me in soooo many ways. I was just sharing a story of mine with a friend, and I figured that some of you might find it interesting too…

When I was in college - I was a classic perfectionist. I had graduated from high school as one of the top in my class, headed off to college with an academic scholarship that I needed to maintain, you know exactly what kind of girls I'm talking about right? I was one of those. Stressed out beyond what should be allowed, and it was all self-imposed.

Thank goodness I had music, or I may never have survived!

The other thing that got me through? Taking a volunteer trip to Mexico. After my first visit to Oaxaca, where I was volunteering at a children's home, I came to the realization that none of what I was worried about really mattered. This first trip was during my first year of college - and the timing couldn't have been better.

It can be very easy to get wrapped up in life (especially when you're in your 20's) and get completely lost in things that don't actually mean anything. Especially in college - that's when you actually start to believe that the world literally rotates around you. (It's also the time when you're pretty sure that you know everything - which is annoying to everyone older than 23, but I'm just saying…)

Anyway, these trips down to Mexico helped me put things into perspective. I still take things too seriously sometimes, but not very often! So I owe a lot to my friends in Oaxaca at Casa Hogar, the Garbage Dump, and down in Santa Maria Tepexipana, and I try to show them how grateful I am each time I'm there.

Sometimes I even get a chance to express my gratitude when I'm not even there! (Here's my friend, Veronica, talking to me on Bryan's iPhone. No lie. I kind of want to send this photo to Steve Jobs.)

So there you go. If you're feeling a little too stressed out, or a little too much like your priorities are out of whack - go do something for someone else. It will help someone else, and it will help you! It's a win-win (or shall I say, 'bi-winning', Charlie Sheen?) and things will fall right back into balance. Anyway, that's my unsolicited advice. Hope it helps.

Love ya, K