I am a bit wiser now though and understand that for what I want to achieve, C++ is just a massive obstacle to get there and it's just nostalgia playing tricks on me. I also wonder just where I would be now if I had stuck with it, I mean there would have been 13y of practice there, I may have even taught myself the maths I needed to make games which is what made me lose interest in the first place.
I was always reading advanced books before I even understood what a class was in C++, this made me impatient and not wanting to learn the basics as I wanted to make the pretty things. So I'm there with GBPxxx's of books like Programming Roleplaying Games in DirectX, Game Programming All In One, Game Programming Gems and many more and I cannot even handle pointers or know what a class constructor is. Wish I'd kept all those books actually.
I don't think I would ever have had the aptitude or ambition to make it as a professional, I never knew what I wanted to do as a kid and to be honest if someone offered me any job I wanted right now I still wouldn't know. I am lucky to have found my feet in the Logistics industry which proved to myself that I can do well when I want, at school I was a classic "Saint Retro could do really well if he tried" type but I simply wasn't interested.
I'm 29 now and I understand the potential for regrets (something I try not to dwell on) and even if I try and fail, or make something crap at least I managed something. I cannot say I'm not capable of doing something until I properly try, this must be my 5/6th time of trying to stick with it but I often get distracted by other things.
I recently started to read a great book called The Chimp Paradox that teaches you to recognise when your brain is being unhelpful and reconfiguring your thoughts to suit your goals, this has had a positive impact on my learning for sure. I hope one day to actually make a post in here with a screenshot or something for everyone to laugh at even if it was the best I could do.
I really do take my hats off to those of you in the industry, I can understand how hard it must have been to get there by looking in from the outside.