For me, playing guitar is both a private and public pleasure. I enjoy both in their own way. There is an unmatched thrill in public performance and there is great comfort in private playing.
Well said about learning an instrument being a lifelong project. No one ever masters the guitar. They may master one or two styles of music, but it is extremely rare for someone to be excellent at all styles of music, playing electric and acoustic, with a pick, playing fingerstyle, playing slide guitar, etc. There is always something new to learn, even if it’s just a new song.
Making music has been a lifelong source of happiness for me. Since age 12 anyway.