Languages and projects aside, the most useful move you can make and reap most benefits from, is to get out of your comfort zone. Try something you've never done before, maybe OpenCl, CUDA, FPGA, etc. Whatever path you choose to pursue, you will learn the most by choosing the one you know least about. I've been in your position and being scared is a normal reaction, don't worry about it. Good luck in expanding your knowledge.
Thanks for the tip! That's why I'm considering the SDL/native route - it's the largest departure from what I'm comfortable with, so it stands to reason it's got the most to teach me.
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