'Do not go back and second-guess yourself'

Feb. 6, 2018 at 8:57 p.m.
Updated Feb. 7, 2018 at 6 a.m.

Slow cooker balsamic chicken.

Slow cooker balsamic chicken.   Photo Contributed by Katherine Pope for The Victoria Advocate

About 18 months ago, I began a new career as a Realtor. I am high-energy by nature, so the fast-paced, ever-changing world of real estate has been a perfect fit for me.

I am lucky enough to be able to work with and learn from Shelly, who is not only a good friend but also a great Realtor.

I started taking the necessary courses to obtain a Texas Real Estate license when my son started his senior year of high school. The timing could not have been better because the classes coupled with all the demands of his busy senior year and the transition to college left me with precious little time to contemplate my impending empty nest.

The real estate classes were challenging but interesting, and although I felt prepared to take the Texas Real Estate Exam, I was still very nervous. I had been told that it was difficult and that the questions were designed to be tricky. That information shook my confidence.

The test was administered in Sugar Land, so in addition to studying hard, I listened to prep classes via YouTube the whole drive there. As I walked into the testing center, a heavily pregnant woman was leaving. She was crying and telling her husband she had failed again. She sobbed that she had been so sure she would pass this time. Seeing her made my anxiety, which was now searing a hole in my stomach, much worse. Nonetheless, I checked in at the front desk, made my way to my testing cubicle and started the exam.

As the questions popped up on the computer screen, my nerves calmed considerably; this was all stuff I knew. As I worked, I began to doubt myself. The answers seemed to come too easily. As the end of the test neared, I began to wonder: did I really know it? Or was I so clueless that I didn't realize how hard the test really was and how precious little I knew?

Just as I was about to go back and pick apart all my answers, I remembered what my children learned in their SAT prep courses: do not go back and second-guess yourself. Your first instinct about an answer is usually right, and when you go back, you often change a right answer to a wrong answer.

Armed with that knowledge, I completed the questions, raised my hand and let the proctor know my testing was complete.

Needless to say, I passed the exam and the subsequent FBI background check and am a proud licensed Realtor.

Last month, I decided to join the Victoria Board of Realtors and am excited to report that I closed on my first listing in Victoria last week. There is nothing like the magic moment when you hand someone the keys to their new home, and I was honored to be a part of that moment for the Busselman family. This was an even better experience because I was equally pleased to help the Dittmar family sell their home. I truly love my clients and my job.

Now that I am a full-time-ish career woman, my days are even busier than when the children were home. The pace and demands are different, as are the rewards, but I wouldn't change a thing about this new and exciting time in my life. On especially busy school days, I often turned to my Crock-Pot to save the day at dinner, and now that my schedule is even more unpredictable, I am pulling out my old friend again.

This balsamic chicken is fabulous. I have made it with and without the brown sugar; both are equally good. Without the brown sugar, the sauce is a little thinner and less sweet. Enjoy.

Katherine Pope is a wife, mother and Realtor. She loves cooking almost as much as she loves living in Jackson County. Katherine can be contacted by email at whatscookingkatherine@gmail.com.



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