I had far too much free time in a previous job, and having already built several websites for locals bands, I thought I'd use that wasted time on the job to teach myself my first coding language, ASP, and some SQL database administration. 9 months later I got my first (essentially junior) development position.
I'm currently on disability, but I keep my hand in by building programs and games for myself and my family to use. I spend a fair amount of time learning new technologies, languages, and their applications to ensure I don't fall behind or get rusty.
Getting back into the workforce at some point soon! There are so many exciting new technologies out there that make it a great time to be a developer. I'd also would like to try my hand at building more robust mobile apps.
Ignore anyone who thinks your brain doesn't function in the "right way" to code. You know your own strengths, and the longer you're out there showing what you can do, the more respect you'll earn. True, it isn't right that women should have to work so much harder to prove ourselves in STEM careers, but the more we show 'em all how it's done, the more normalized women in tech will become.