I can tell you right now, don’t focus on what’s easiest for you, focus on what’s more fun for you. Because if you’re doing something you enjoy it becomes easy.
I myself went with your Option 1. Mainly because I really liked what WP had to offer in terms of how complex or simple I could get when making a theme and just what that CMS can do in general. I can tell you too, while WP is built on PHP, it almost feels like it’s own version of it. There’s a lot of different ways to go about the same thing. Personally I strive to make a WP site automated/easy to update enough that a client won’t need me when it comes to running their site…unless they want to hire me for that
That being said, throwing a simple WP theme is technically easy, once you learn the meat and potatoes of coding for the CMS. Which is kind of the greatest thing about WP, you don’t just have to build a “blog” you can do pretty much whatever you want with it as long as you know how to.There’s also a HUGE amount of documentation for it and a big community to bounce questions off of. Granted, depending on the type of project, you might be better off with a different CMS.
Heck, you could even just focus on building WP plugins if you wanted to.
I’d say, try doing both options, see which one you like more (or maybe you’ll enjoy them equally). And the more you work with them, the easier it’ll become. I’m coincidentally working on learning JS too, because I’m looking to be more well rounded in what I can do with a bit of code.
There’s no fast track really, BUT I suppose the closest you could get with Option 1, is building WP themes and then maybe selling them. You can branch out then into several types of themes. Ones for articles, shopping, brochure sites, video sharing, etc. And you can utilize JS in there too for functionality. Best of both options there. I’ve never tried this myself, all the themes I’ve built or modded were for specific client projects. But check out sites that sell WP themes. See what different themes are going for, how complex they are, and you can get a better idea of what’s needed/popular.
You can always offer web mastering/site maintenance services to clients either on an hourly rate or a monthly retainer depending on their needs. Some folk would just rather have someone else handle their sites.