I’m good at teaching, a gift I’ve confidently used for more than half my life. I’ve taught third grade, sixth grade, special education, preschool, homeschool, private school, music lessons… I can teach.
But playing teacher and being an actual student aren’t necessarily so familiar as merely different sides of a coin. I hadn’t taken a test without an answer key in twenty years, and the prospect of doing such a thing all over again seemed a bit overwhelming. Yet, there I was, sitting cross legged on the back row of a modern classroom, attempting to focus for stretches of time on just one subject.
Real Estate. Realtor. The act of helping others buy property, buy houses, businesses, large investments, buy homes. That’s the subject of the tests I willingly took.
And after class, and when my world seemed exhausting and when I needed to breath easily, I went to my own home. Home to my kids. Home to my dog.
Home to my particular spot on my particular couch. I just. went. Home.
An old fireplace with an intricately carved mantle surrounding old, faded, sooted brick. Antique apple crates stacked in such a pattern as to create the perfect desk base. My child’s portrait hanging on the foyer wall. A viola propped at attention. Books stacked carelessly, piled high about every room.
The dog, blonde and small, curled in his favorite chair, snoring quietly. Soft, worn rugs scattered about the house. An extra large bed, wrapped in flannel and down, warm lamps illuminating pale corners. Sudsy soap in the kitchen sink, last night’s dishes haphazardly soaking, the hum and slosh of the dishwasher running.
Children stomping through the hall, doors opening and closing loudly, hurried sounds of boys focused on the business of play. My mother’s ring resting in the pottery dish a child’s hand shaped years ago. Light streaming through the cool glass of a front window. Daylight indoors. Me, nestled beneath the coverlet, computer perched on a pillow, writing.
After a weekend of classes, it was these familiarities that fed me. Nourished me for another week. Wrapped me warmly, welcoming and restful.
When I visit my childhood abode, or I breathe Tennessee air or drink coffee on my porch in York – When I set bare feet upon damp, warm soil or I attend a Sunday service at an Episcopal Church or I sit in the balcony at Allison Creek Presbyterian – I experience home.
Months have passed since real estate school. The license firmly hangs at Keller Williams in Fort Mill. Marching forward, real estate offers new, surprising, fun opportunities. And still, at the end of the day, that particular couch in that particular house on that particular street calls on me.
The little blonde dog waits, curled and snoring. And I, well, I go home.