I started playing December 25th, 1998. I was nine, getting ready to turn ten (my mum saved up all year to buy a kiwi green gameboy colour and pokemon blue. It was the best Christmas ever. I posted the story on another thread a long while ago). I collected the cards, but didn't care too much about playing--I just liked the Card Art. I also had (and still have) a large number of Pokemon "Battle Figures", as well as figures of Ash, Brock, Misty, Jessie, and James. I have a plush Pikachu and a talking plush Mew, as well. Mew still works. She wags her tail, moves her eyes, and says: "Mew!" when you squeeze her paw. I liked the anime, but I always liked the games quite a bit more, as there were things in the anime that always bugged me (mostly Electric working on Ground. Aim for the horn, my ***. I also didn't like how Misty was so mean to Psyduck. That always really bothered me. If she was nice to it, and trained it properly, she'd get a Golduck--and Golduck is awesome. Charizard's attitude also bugged me. I mean, Ash saved its life when it was a Charmander. You'd think it would be a little more grateful).
I've played most of the games, but I'm going to put my "main" game for each generation. If another strikes me, then I'll put it at the bottom.
=>Blue: Bulbasaur (Sprout), Machamp (Cadmus), Hitmonchan (Sertorius), Hitmonlee (Diomedes), Primeape (Agrippina), Poliwrath (Rana). I borrowed my buddy's gameboy and link cable to move in the Primeape, Hitmonlee, and Machoke (that became a Machamp) from Red version (I bought Red version myself).
=>Crystal: Hitmonchan (Sertorius), Hitmonlee (Diomedes), Hitmontop (Metellus), Machamp (Cadmus), Heracross (Cervus), Poliwrath (Rana). All the first gen, I moved into the game via Pokemon Stadium 2. I played Silver mostly before getting Crystal (I like the "cool" colours over the "warm" colours), but don't remember much about the team I had on it or Gold; I got Crystal a bit before getting Pokemon Stadium 2.
I took a break from pokemon late into the second generation (in fact, right before the third was released), as I thought I was "too old" for Pokemon. I found Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold, Silver, and Crystal in my "Memory Box" and started playing them again--leaving my Blue and Crystal "un-restart-ed". I then started buying the newer gen games after I joined on here, as they sounded fun, the new pokemon looked cool, and I wanted to "catch up".
=>Platinum/Heart Gold/Soul Silver (I think I was 19-20?) FINAL TEAM: Hitmonchan (Sertorius), Medicham (Effie), Hitmontop (Metellus. Pokeradar'd as a Tyrogue), Croagunk (Mephitas), Hitmonlee (Diomedes), Breloom (Ariadne). The Croagunk could be switched out for Lucario (Rumia).
=>Emerald/Leaf Green (bought after playing through Platinum. Had a hard time finding it) FINAL TEAM: Hitmonchan (Sertorius), Hitmonlee (Diomedes), Hitmontop (Metellus), Breloom (Ariadne), Hariyama (Enceladus), Machamp (Cadmus)
(I traded in the first and second genners, cloned them, cloned my third genners, and moved them back in, so the teams are identical on Em and LG) I had Poliwrath (Rana) and Primeape (Agrippina) as alternates. Sadly, no Medicham in Emerald.
=>Black/Black2 FINAL TEAM: Hitmonchan (Sertorius), Medicham (Effie), Scrafty (Reglius), Breloom (Ariadne), Infernape (Hephaestus), Lucario (Rumia).
ALTERNATES FOR MY TEAM (applies to fifth, only): Gallade (Menenius), Hitmonlee (Diomedes), Hitmontop (Metellus), Croagunk (Mephitas), Poliwrath (Rana)--though I have collected at least one of all fighting type pokemon. I am a specialist--I'd be remiss if I didn't.
All these years, especially with my Hitmonchan by my side, I've felt fortunate. Pokemon has helped me through some of the hardest times in my life. It is something I will love for the rest of my life (I'll be turning 24 soon, why stop loving pokemon?). I plan to share Pokemon with my children some day, and am really glad that my boyfriend plays, too (though he's a bit of a slight genwunner, I'm gradually bringing him around to the newer pokemon. He at least thinks Volcanara, Chandelure, Banette, Crustle, and Kyurem look cool. Haunter is his favorite pokemon, though).