I have always been a mind-oriented person, and have always had an interest in meditation, practicing my own made-up kind as a child before going to sleep.
I started experimenting with psychedelics in early 2011, which opened me up to spirituality in a big way in mid-2012 (i had always been a materialist atheist until then), specifically led me to investigate meditation more deeply in early 2013, and specifically led me to Buddhism in the fall of 2013. (I am aware of all fifth-precept talk; in my case i doubt i would have seriously turned to Buddhism without them, and as such i think they may be useful catalysts or sparks for those that are not naturally prone to it and are lucky enough to have the right experiences and mindset, even though they may also generate and perpetuate delusion.)
Since then, i have been increasingly interested in Buddhism, and several months ago started reading the Sutta Pitaka; during that time, this most coherent, sublime, and deep, deep Dhamma has won me over! and i started practicing.
My sitting meditation practice is regular but not daily yet. I have made a little progress in it lately, which is very encouraging.
Most of my online time is spent reading about the Dhamma, but i am aware that i need to shift away from reading and thinking, and focus more on practice. Mindfulness intermittently fills my days and i am very grateful for it.
I have not been on any retreat yet (beyond a one-day one, but i wouldn't consider that a retreat), but i plan on going to a 10-day Goenka one in early 2015.
I'm entertaining the idea of becoming a monk at some point in my life (the earlier the better), but i am aware that it may take a long time and that i may be over-zealous, wanting to rush things, or deluding myself into believing that i have the courage and determination to do it.
I come here for Dhamma discussion, help in my practice, admirable friendship (hopefully), and whatever else may arise.
I will address my biggest struggles in other threads.
I live in the Boston area in the USA and am turning 30 this fall.
I hope i have not been too self-centered in this message (especially considering all the "i"s), i thought that the exhaustive background information could help situate me better for more adequate replies.
That's it for now :-)
Thank you all, and metta to all.