I ditched Windows back in 1998 and installed RedHat 5.1. It was awesome! Then I upgraded. Wow, what a nightmare. Dependency hell. I struggled with it for a few years, but hung in there because I just loved it and had no interest in going back to Windows. Macs make my brain hurt.
Then along came Mandrake which took away some of the pain. That was great as well, really liked KDE. Upgrades were still painful, but much better.
Then I started hearing a lot about Ubuntu so I made the leap to Kubuntu 6.06. I went through about 8 in-place upgrades over time (minorly painful) until I finally things got unstable enough that I did a fresh install. Things were much better... but I kept having issues with KDE wigging out on me and pegging my cpu.
So I installed XFCE on top of Kubuntu. XFCE spoke to me - I realized all the UI flash didn't matter to me. I would flip back to KDE, but the problem kept happening and I was happy with XFCE. Eventually I heard about Mint around 2011, and had to try Mint XFCE - I have been there since. I have decided to not do rolling installs anymore, but I am configured pretty well to do full installs. I just installed over my Mint 17 XFCE release and was up and running on Mint XFCE 18 in about an hour. (my / partition is 55 GB and only uses about 12, and I have a separate partition for home). This was the smoothest linux system update I have ever had - even no issues with the Nvidia proprietary drivers!
Installs aside, my Linux system does everything I want it to do. Seeing all the various applications on it grow and blossom, and really cool things like bootable distros to embedded linux to mini systems to android. It has really been great to see it all flourish.
At work I use Windows 10, and I get by. But it brings me no joy. At home I run Linux, and it brings me joy. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to it.