@Feisty-Muffin That seems like the wrong thing to do. Instead of a through hike consider a section hike. That is much less of a commitment. You can go for an overnight or a week or a month... whatever. That is much less daunting and it gets you out there so you can see if it's really what you want to do. If not that there are many beautiful and amazing places you can go possibly local to you. It is actually much less daunting than a lot of the advice would indicate. For a short trip you can rent the expensive items tent, sleeping bag and pad and pack although personally I would get my own bag.
So don't give up. Just get started. You may not hike the whole AT this year but hiking the whole thing is an artificial goal. Make your own rules!