One beacon of light did appear in the form of a possible new career in real estate; a good friend suggested this and once I began investigating the possibility, found myself getting excited. The folks I spoke with on the Real Estate Commission made no promises, telling me I would have to successfully complete the Pre-Licensing Class and then pass the state exam before they would rule on whether or not I would be licensed. After talking it over with Kathy (my biggest fan and supporter) we agreed that the investment of almost $800 (the class, registration and taking the state exam, etc.) could well be worth it and so I took that leap.
Chris Barnette, the instructor for Go School as well as many others supported and encouraged me through the process and I was able to successfully complete the Pre-Licensing Class and passed the state exam. Then it seemed that where there had been some possibility, there was now only a blank wall with no door for me to go through. Understandably, the Real Estate Commission has a duty to protect the public from anyone who could take advantage of them, particularly with the relationship of trust that must exist between a real estate agent and their client. Allowing me to be licensed, despite my felony, was a big step for them and I knew it would be, but I hoped that somewhere in the process the idea of a second chance would happen.
One delay after another seemed to further dampen what once had been real excitement at the possibility of serving the public in this manner; my friends at Go Realty came alongside me and urged me not to give up, but not having an income to help my wife pay the bills made our finances rather shaky (to say the least). I began looking for employment again with little to show for it until a friend called me and told me about a possible position with a local firm. After speaking with the President and co-owner of this company, we agreed on a time for an interview during which he told me categorically that he believed that everyone deserved a second chance. A follow up interview with another person cemented their commitment to hiring me and as of 8 PM tonight, I am employed as an independent contractor for this company. It is piece work of a sort, but it is work and will enable me to help Kathy pay some bills.
I do plan on continuing my quest to have the Real Estate Commission agree to my being licensed and look forward to the opportunities ahead of me. My thanks to you all who have stood with me (and as Kathy has done at times, kicked me in the seat of the pants to keep me going); let's go on.