Glad to hear your story duder. I made the trek to bronze 2 days ago with similar circumstances to yourself.
I was always interested in fighting game since I was a kid seeing them around malls and other places. The thing that made me look at SF in a new light, (considering I was like 3 years old when real arcades dissappeared), was that Daigo parry video. I had no idea what was going on but I knew something was there from the excitement in that room and even in myself. I tried emulated SF2 but had no one other than my brother to play with at the time.
Eventually HD SF2 came out on the 360 which was my first foray into the SF competitive side of things with the horrible lag asside, I had a ton of fun getting my ass handed to me (I'm sure I won 1 or 2 rounds somehow) and then when IV came out I was playing against my cousins and some of my best friends.
The training mode and challenge mode in IV on the other hand is where I probably learned the most though. Practicing for hours figuring out how to do cancels and input things with the proper timing. Even though I was bad at the game I was addicted to it.
I caved in on SFV seeing Jeff and Jason ranking other fighting games and seeing their excitement playing the beta made me want V really bady. I got it at launch and have been playing every day as M Bison online which is my best character at the moment.
Sitting at 500 LP and bronze league right now if anyone wants to play with a newer player feel free to bother me on PSN @ Idion1 or Fighter ID: Zenden, hopefully I didn't bore anyone with my tale.