The answer depends on wether you take the blue pill or the red pill. Sorry, but I couldn't resist with you using the name Neo.
work, as you mention soldering and basic prototying. You may be able to find some classes at a community or technical college that would help you gain some hands on experience with the correct methods to use. Also look for certification trainging that may be offered in your area. Personally, I took a class in SMT rework and have been very comfortable with soldering and desoldering ever since. While I am certain that some may disagree with my suggestion I find that there really is no substitute for learning from someone who knows how to teach a subject properly.
If you are interested in learning electronics theory, which will go a long ways towards your goal, I would recommend the book, The Art of Electronics and the corresponding lab work book by Horowitz and Hill. The book covers many of the fundemental aspects of analog and digital electronics from a "this is how you use and apply it" perspective. The book covers how to analyze circuits and components from a practical - real work perspective. Armed with this book, I would suggest getting some basic equipment, such as a bread board, digital multi meter and power supply. You may wish to purchase some basic parts to perform the experiements in the book, but these should be available from any online electronics supplier, such as Digikey.
Good Luck and enjoy your trip down the rabbit hole!