I bought some new gear last year and it gets the job done, but it is not be-all-end-all. At my age there's a learning curve and I have my concerns, too in this industry. The best I have to offer is to forge on and don't sweat the small stuff amongst your peers.
Onward and upward.
You just taught an old dog a new trick e.g., "fail fast, learn faster."
Excellent (tenting fingers)
Where do I start with the madness as a beginner?
Well, you asked, so let me indulge you with a brief snap-shot overview: hands-on experience is what I want so I can learn from my painful forthcoming mistakes. Let's face it we all have experienced those mistakes, but I just want to get mine over with as soon as possible ;-)
My goal in 2017 will be to find a position with the pros in the film world that will hopefully call me their own and include me in the pack.
Happy New Year y'all!