In the days before I headed down to Central America, I was staying with my family in our then home in Indiana. I vividly remember my dad asking me why I was going. My answer was simple. It was something I really wanted to do and I wanted to do it while I was single and young (read: before life really began it's full court press). And boy was I right in what was to come. There is NO WAY I could possibly do the same thing nowadays.

And it remains one of my most definitional life-periods.

In that same conversation with my dad, he said, "You take your eye off the grindstone for a minute, son, and you'll get ground up." Sage advice for most and maybe also for me. But having been an investment banker for the previous two years, the grindstone was the last place I wanted to look. And the one thing I knew was that it would be there waiting for me when I came back to the States.

The grindstone, after all, never dies.

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