I've had very similar experiences, though my journey took me through DOS, Windows, Novel Netware and finally to Linux in 2000. As a network administrator for a small family-owned regional wholesale company that has used Linux from the very early days, I was privileged to have the ability to grow in my knowledge of Linux by using it every day. My personal use of Linux has been exclusive for at least the last 10 years.
Back in those early days, I worked for an electronics store that sold Apple computers and purchased my first computer (an Apple II+). During those times, I also learned a unique and wonderful programming environment called Savvy by Excalibur Technologies and even created a point-of-sale inventory program using this language for a record store. (yes, vinyl records, those things that are coming back in style). Savvy is long dead and even finding references for it online is a tough nut to crack.
At 61, I'm still working hard at promoting OS software and the Linux operating system. What's not to love? It keeps me young!