You likely know about it already, but have you tried Spacemacs? I have it installed but always forget about it so I didn't really experiment with it.
I can come back to vim after long spans of disuse and just pick it up, like riding a bike. Emacs is more like learning to juggle: constant practice, or it slips away from me.
That's literally the exact opposite of me (including juggling - biking comparison)! Each time I'm returning to Vim I pretty much have to go through some tutorial. I might as well switch my keyboard layout to left-hand Swedish Dvorak while I'm at it, considering how little of it stays in my muscle memory.