I've always loved playing games, but I didn't start designing them until, in my twenties, I took part in some play test sessions with Reiner Knizia. He was a hero to me - the designer of my favorite game "Euphrates and Tigris".
I left the play tests believing that games design was awesome, and that I could do it too. It turned out that I was half right - games design was great fun but it took a decade of work (juggling my passion for design and my job valuing pensions) before I felt I'd really grasped it. In that decade, Jolly Roger - one of my earliest games - developed with me.
I hope you enjoy it, and agree it was worth the wait.