the only known footage of Grea behind the kitI only had that passion (if not knowledge) early on but The Trill Has Gone. It's great that you still have it. It's a gift.
I started out playing along with records and I thought it all sounded great! Boom! Crash! Clunk! Too much fun! Oh, and adults hate it - yeah! I played every spare moment - on pads, floors, my legs, someone else's legs, tables, chairs, car bonnets ...
After a few years I realised that I actually played sloppy and struggled with fast or intricate passages ... I lost some of the passion. I wasn't Queen Poop on the drums, any more haha ... just another self-taught plodder.
I still love the sound when playing with a band, where as Bo pointed out and something I'm grateful for, boom-bap and minor variants are often the right thing to play.
As for pads, I can only play on them for short stretches because I hear every imperfection clear as day. Ouch.
I think this often happens with older sportspeople too - they tire of training and just want to play the matches.
go get 'em girl