A friend yesterday asked me if I had a room of my apartment (with over 150 board games in it) devoted to board games because I lived in a cat-free apartment building. And this got me to thinking about a whole lot of things. I mean sure my identity is tied up with my hobbies (If I took this question and looked at all the possible meanings it could be asking if I am a spinster librarian with board games and geeky memorabilia rather than cats?), of course I know that it wasn't meant maliciously in any way shape or form, but it does make me thing about what is associated with some of the nerdy hobbies I engage in: board games, reading, spending lots of time on the internet learning (and doing other procrastinating type things), iOs games, computer games, occasionally console games, tv shows (but nerdy ones apparently), very specific movies, ballroom dancing (gosh I miss that hobby and ought to do it once more someday), social media, contest entering etc. And it wasn't just this comment that got me thinking about the nature of my particular hobbies: some are very female dominated while others aren't (librarians and readers are often thought of as predominantly female, as are casual gamers, contest entrants [who are often stay at home mothers], whereas those who play board games, video games, watch geeky tv shows, and spend a lot of time online are thought of as male).
And you know what, even though there's often stigma attached to gendered activities, this won't stop me from doing them (though it very well might stop me from spending time with people who aren't awesome). I think some of my struggle with how I fit into the world had to do with attitudes toward certain appearances and certain perceptions. I often operate in areas which are not percevied as predominantly female (eg. Kiwanis, Science (when I was an undergrad and certain elements of grad school), playing certain types of games) but I also operate in areas which are deemed more feminine (makeup, personal care, reading, etc.).
But as I get older it's less the feminine/masculine dichotomy that I think about. I think more about whom I am surrounding myself with. And other discussions yesterday reminded me just of how much I've grown and changed. I don't read banned books PURELY because they've been banned, but rather because often I get much more out of reading them than I would reading more hegemonic patriarchal literature (if those are the reasons they were banned) and sometimes videos/books/media etc. doesn't need to be edgy to be educational. Finding my spot in the world is something I've often struggled with but also something I feel really strongly about. I like the little niches I've carved out for myself, the skill sets I've developed in construction, in video games, in volunteerism, in dancing, in exercising at home in… so many things really. But there's so much more I could learn. And you know what, I'm happy with that.
So yeah I might have board games and books and much else in my apartment and no pets, but you know what, I'm pretty happy with my lot in life, where I'm living, even though I might always long for more.