Thanks a lot for the thoughtful reply -- wish you the best! As you've put it, it's certainly a journey (no way, don't pick a simpler one!), and it looks like you're ready to be in it for the long haul. 100% agree on your thoughts about success/failure and found your thoughts on smalltalk/education/love interesting.
I have a brother who is trying to learn programming and I wish I could infuse him with the spirit you've learned (I'm sure the hard way) to have. If only there was some way to consistently teach tenacity.