Played my first recorded games in the wake of the Spassky-Fischer '72-match. But did not go into serious chess until mid-1980'es.
I made steady - at times swift - progress - and a few years later I qualified for playing at masters level - I won many prices in tournament play - on the way up a particular year of hightlight was 1991, when I was awarded a nationwide brillianzy price for the best move that year. The game was publiced everywhere - also on radio - and its was annotated by several masters, including Bent Larsen: "move of the week ... move of the month ... move of the year" - I will never forget that. Thanks for the kind words - and RIP Larsen.
However family life, professional career etc. stopped futher progress. For more than 20 years or so I have only played for fun - and only in rare occations in serious events - such as teammatches.
I have no regrets - a quest for a title was never in my dreams anyway.
I keep a reasonable collection of chessbooks and magazines - but properly it will be sold off in due time. My children has not shown any real interest in the game, so ....
Chess is still fun to me, but I am pretty sure, that it will never become a significant sport - despite new developments and progress in Asia, Africa etc..
Also very possible there will be a 'Carlsen-effect' - now that he is WCh - but the effect will be shortlived, I predict. In Norway the effect is very visible, but beyond ... hmmm. He is no doubt a worthy champ, at times even dominate, but still: I don't see him holding his throne for that many years.
Professionally I am Master of Science in civil engineering - and is currently employed at Aalborg University, where I work with working environment and contingency planning.