I've been watching anime for as long as I can remember.
Some of the first anime that come to mind in my infancy was Tale of the White Serpent (though I remember it as Panda and the Magic Serpent), along with another movie or show I can't quite grasp the name of but it involved a protagonist with the head of a tomato or something. Straining my brain I can also think of an animated fairy tale or Aesop's Fables collection that resembled anime. At a young age I also enjoyed Miyazaki / Studio Ghibli movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service and Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind. Though at that time Disney didn't save it so it was Warriors of the Wind.
As a child I wasn't aware of the Anime genre, but grew up with Pokemon or Sailor Moon. Later on I moved on to watch shows in the Saturday morning lineup, that included things like Digimon, Yu-Gi-Oh, etc.
It wasn't until my older sisters introduced me to the term anime that I learned what it was. At the time I was watching American licensed shows like Dragon Ball Z, One Piece, Ruroni Kenshin, and Shaman King and was aware that was anime. With my sisters, probably during middle school at this time, we saw the non-licensed stuff (at the time): Naruto, Love Hina, Chobits, Angelic Layer, Fruits Basket, and Gravitation (Obviously I didn't choose the anime, while I bickered a little I ended up somehow enjoy it). Later on my sisters brought over DVD's of Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, and Full Metal Alchemist which were all licensed but shown late at night, and we didn't have cable at our own house. This was also the time I began to read manga, like Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicles, Naruto, as well as a ton of obscure manga I can't recall (mostly shoujo, for example Marmalade Boy). Around this time I started watched a ton of Miyazaki. Laputa: Castle in the Sky, the new and improved Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, and Princess Monoke (my favorite Miyazaki movie to date). My family and I also went to see Spirited Away in theaters.
This was the point where I began to pursue anime on my own. This was around the middle school era, and my tastes in anime was rather limited to shounen tournament style, probably compensating for my shoujo-influenced childhood. My anime was basically Naruto, and my manga basically Rave Master. Then I began to truly discover anime when I watched the movie Akira. That was around the time I finished Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion. Perhaps there were a few more I can't remember, Berserk was probably among them. Afterward I lost all interest in anime for a couple years, because I was afraid of being labeled a weeaboo.
Now I don't give a shit. I shamelessly got back into anime and I splurged into it, and it surprises me how much I can do even though I seem to spend a lot of free time watching anime. Though in this biography it seems like my whole life was anime that isn't true, I was raises with an asian stepparent so a lot of Eastern style movies replaced the Western ones all my friends were watching. I saw the Eastern Three Little Pigs before I Disney version (I still haven't seen the Disney version). When my friends were watching things like Jackass in middle school I was watching Seven Samurai. I still managed to enjoy both Eastern and Western entertainment venues thoroughly.
I wouldn't consider myself an otaku, I don't do cosplay and I don't buy all the DVD's figurines and posters that come with an anime franchise. However, I love anime. I truly do from the bottom of my heart. To me, it is a completely legitimate medium of entertainment. America should look at the example of Japan, and begin taking the time and passion needed to make an animation more seriously. Pixar hasn't gotten an Oscar for Best Film yet. I respect the King's Speech, but the only reason why Toy Story 3 didn't get a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes is because people didn't want to admit that the film was perfect.
Anyway, rants aside, I love Anime. And that's that.