Can't quite remember how it started, but it had to do something with wanting to host (and fool around with) websites for myself, and Windows just couldn't properly do it. I do remember the horror at the start, Debian. No idea what version it was, but I was having major library problems, and once it was finally running somewhat, i decided to just.. let it run, for a while. Sick of all those dependency and library problems, I wanted to understand what I was doing (wrong), and how it all worked. I wanted to know what it was I had installed, why I needed it, how everything depended on everything else, and that's how I landed on the Gentoo website.
Strange as it might sound, no more wtf's, and actually managed to get a Gentoo server up and running properly. Not long after, friends got ear of this server, and started to request accounts on it, and I turned it into a free hosting service
In the meantime, or somewhere in between Debian or Gentoo, desktop-wise tried one of the first unstable releases of Fedora. Probably because all the configuration with USE flags and what not on Gentoo was just a bit too much at that time for a desktop. It was terrible. Next summer holiday, i was installing my Gentoo desktop and that's when my knowledge really started to grow.
I'm now a Unix Engineer thanks to all the above, still running Gentoo Linux x86_64 Hardened No-Multilib on my servers and Lenovo Thinkpad x201 (should've damn waited for the x220, as it was released close after I got this one, and is the last one with the proper normal keyboard).
The minimalist that I am, I don't run an actual DE (Desktop Environment) or DM (Desktop Management) software anymore, and am quite fine with suckless.org's dwm (Dynamic Window Manager), which is a tiling window manager not based on screens like the usual tiling WM, but on tags. I've given up on Webkit-GTK after handing in some patches to make stuff work and seeing the direction it was going to, switched to Opera, and with that started to live without GTK+ or QT.