Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sorcha the Hobbyist (Crosspost)

This is a cross post from a few years back on a blog that has since been made private that I wanted to have public. The blog is 'a celebration of the diversity of what it means to identify as girls and women.' It's a little out of date, but I've left it unedited.

Me? I’m a hobbyist. A person of passions. When I discover something that I love I throw myself into it. I’ve been an actor, a singer, a pianist, a martial artist, a poet, and a songwriter. These days I’m a dancer, a runner, a boardgamer, a knitter, and a coder. And that’s just in my spare time. My day job is a cross between consultancy and support. Oh, and I’m someone’s wife and someone’s Mam. I live for my passions, and for sharing them with others. I have walked into rooms of strangers who were also dancers or also gamers and been instantly at home.

I’d say I probably wrote my first computer program around the age of 7 or 8. Written in Basic; drawing pictures on the screen. I studied computer science in college. I’m getting involved in the open source scene at the moment, and finding any excuse I can to write Python programs. I mentored at the Coding Grace Python beginners workshop for women and their friends recently and I’m looking forward to my first PyCon Ireland Python Conference in October.

I’ve played and loved boardgames all my life. In college I discovered better boardgames, and people that identified as gamers. Since then I’ve been an active member of the wonderful Irish gaming scene. I’ve helped to run a few games conventions and I’ve dabbled in other types of games, such as RPGs, LARPS, and computer games. My boardgames collection takes up a wardrobe in our sitting room. And I write boardgames reviews for the gazebo: http://issuu.com/the_gazebo/.

I’ve always loved to dance; but aside from a few years of ceili dancing on and off in school, and the odd salsa lesson, I hadn’t done much about it, until I broke my foot in a playground, age 23 (it’s a long story). While I was incapacitated I realised that I didn’t miss walking, or many other things, nearly as much as I missed being able to dance. I attended my first swing dance lesson class before I was fully off the crutches. And I’ve been swing dancing when I can ever since. I’ve danced in Sweden, the UK, the USA, and of course at home in Ireland. I lead and follow, and love both.

I did Couch to 5k in Feb 2010. By November that year I was running (very slowly) in BHAA (BHAA.ie) races, which I still do. I joined the BHAA committee in late 2011. I ran the Mooathon marathon in September 2011, and you can read all about it on my blog here: http://www.saoili.blogspot.ie/2011/09/i-accidentally-ran-one-of-hardest-and.html. I’m currently recovering from the Run Kildare half marathon 2013. I’ve never gotten very fast, but I really love running. When everything works just right, running feels like flying.

My grandmother taught me to knit when I was a small child. This skill lay mostly dormant for a long  time. I’d knit the odd scarf here and there, but never much until quite recently. I knit my son a baby blanket, which I finished the day he was born. One Christmas I knit a scarf for my father-in-law. The following year, by request, I knit a Christmas jumper for my sister-in-law. She got it on Easter Sunday (I never said I could knit fast). She also got me a book of dinosaur knitting patterns for Christmas and I’ve been knitting dinosaurs most times I’m sitting still since.

I don’t own a television, or read magazines. Even so, sometimes I struggle to not think of myself as ‘there to be looked at’. But mostly I’m too busy for that.

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