Edit: Re "I used a new, clean org-roam database in an empty ~/Org folder because I wanted to leave behind all the cruft and stuff from the previous project, including potentially"
Exactly what I did and what gave me a boost in learning Emacs+Elisp and a fresh start. My old `.emacs' file was holding me back!
With a good keyboard setup (two Control keys on the left and right) Emacs keybindings aren't that bad. Actually I like them.