I have always advocated prospective real-time data collection instead of retrospective accounts. In part, this is because people suffer from memory decay and recall bias and have difficulties remembering events as they actually took place. The task of recounting my academic career is therefore somewhat ironic because it relies solely on my recollection. I don’t keep a diary and my memory is not great. With this caveat, I will attempt to provide a summary of my academic journey, some lessons I’ve learned, and possible implications of my work. In writing this, I have come to realize that it is essentially impossible to understand anything about the kind of research a person conducts unless we also know something about the context in which this research arose.