For most of my life, I tried to "get back to" an imagined time where I felt like I was at this incredible pinnacle. I can name every point in my life where I felt I'd reached new heights: Summer '93, Summer '96, Summer '98, Summer '00, Summer '02, Spring '08, Fall '10, and a surreal two-year stretch between Summer '14 and Spring '16. At each peak, I felt as though I'd finally "redeemed" myself. I felt I'd finally "made up for my mistakes" and I could finally move forward. This lens of thinking is incredibly problematic.The topography of life is pock-marked with peaks, hills, valleys, craters, cliffs and plains. As we meander the landscape, what we do in the present shapes the terrain ahead. Each new phase of the journey adds texture and context to what's come before, and informs what comes next. I'll illustrate this point by block-quoting an old Chinese Proverb, because it's simple, elegant, and more eloquent than the words I would use to paraphrase it