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Hello, my name is Meg and I'm a Lego fan, more precisely, an AFOL. I've been reading the forum for awhile now, and finally decided it's time to come out of the shadows so to speak.
I can't say that I really had a "dark ages" as much as my parents did an excellent job at keeping the very existence of Lego out of my consciousness for most of my childhood. My sister and I had maybe 2 smallish basic building sets and that's it. I've no idea whatever became of those bricks, much to my dismay.
My first adult purchase was #7194
Yoda which I found on clearance at Target years back. But my dark ages continued until The Lego Movie turned me on to collecting minifigures. One day last August, one of the sellers I was buying from recommended I would be better off buying sets. He was right - building is fun!
In just over a year of buying sets I am already facing space issues (due to my being a bit of a pack rat), but finding Brickset has been a blessing because I can keep track of my collections much more easily. And also find more stuff I want;p!