#1
-- I'm just a low-intermediate player at best. I learned the basics from my seventh grade teacher, mostly by watching his hand. After that, I taught myself new chords and fingerpicking. I played every song I knew by ear (an ability that I'm deeply grateful for). I played for my friends, sat in on bluegrass jams, and sometimes accompanied choruses with which I sang. Beyond that, I just played for my own pleasure.

Sixteen years ago, I don't know what happened but I lost my muse. I hardly played at all, for 16 years. Two years ago, my wife bought me a Martin, which I had lusted over since playing that 7th grade teacher's D-45. This drew me out to play, but I did so only sporadically. I took some lessons from a guy who taught me from his own materials - which had been written for children. I had committed to taking his lessons for six weeks, though, so I did. I learned precious little, but did manage to get my fingertips broken in again.

Four months ago, I moved home to Southern California, having lived in Maryland for 16 years. (I'm sure there's some correlation, but I can't figure it out.) I'm taking lessons from a working musician, and my first lesson was beginning theory. I love this guy and am finally excited about playing again.

I have a long way to go. But I'm playing.

So - Hi.
#2
You have to want it, and you have to work at it if you wish to move forward with your playing. Taking lessons from an active player is a good start. Fleshing out your vocabulary and skill level comes with practice. Good luck!
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
#3
Welcome back to music. I'm glad to hear you are finding your muse again. I'm in a similar boat after a long hiatus and forgetting most things, I found my muse again sort of and am back. Also self taught and it really showed as I struggled to voice what was in my head through my instrument, but with an instructor you'll make strides in it. Taking lessons was the best decision I ever made I think, since it opened doors and revived that creative spark in my own playing. Theory right? It's amazing how much more fun you have playing when you understand why something sounds good and how to make it sound even better opposed to flailing at a few progressions you picked up haphazardly.