My Coming Out Story by Sheila Pope

I Can See the Lighty

I see the light!

It seems like celebrities are coming out  and telling the world their secrets every day. Finally, I feel comfortable enough to share my secret too. No, I am not gay; however, I am a homeowner! Yes, a year ago I decided to purchase a home. No, this is not my first new home. I purchased my first custom built home in 1996.

Why did I keep it a secret? I did not want to hear the negativity that some people bring to the table when you share your dreams. I learned early that some people cannot handle your dreams or your success. One “friend” asked me if I bought my home via housing?  It was shocking since she had never seen my home. To this day, I wonder why she thought I would qualify for housing. That stung and it told me a great deal about how she viewed me.

I selected my lot and paid my ernest money.

I selected my lot and paid my earnest money.

I watch HGTV almost everyday, and I beam with pride when I watch women of all ages and races purchase homes from $100,000-$500,000 by themselves. They are proud, fearless, educated, independent and ambitious women. They let camera film their every move while they go through the stressful process of buying a home.  I had to face my fears when I got ready to purchase my second home.

After my divorce, my credit rating was shot. I had to rebuild. It took years to pay my debts off. When I got ready to purchase my home, I had to make some tough decisions. I had to decide if I would postpone completing my PhD in 2012 or pay for my home. My great friend Dr. Hill, a Capella Sister, told me, “A doctorate degree will not provide you and your children with shelter.” She was so right! I made the right choice. I do not regret paying my credit cards and other debts off to increase my credit score. I do not regret taking a break from Capella, selling my Mustang to have cash on hands, and using every penny of the money I had in  savings to pay my closing cost on my custom built home. Now, I am ready to tell the world that I too am a fearless, proud, and independent female taxpayer that is living the American dream.

Starting the Building Process

Starting the Building Process

Talking with Loice Cottingham, my Realtor, from Realm Real Estate about purchasing a home provided me with tons of wisdom and advice. She was the voice that said, “Sheila you should build a home.” I had my eyes set on a few homes that had been previously built with  great landscaping.

The home that I envisioned myself living in had a huge backyard, three car garage, and was on a corner lot with beautiful mature trees.  Loice was the one that said, “Sale one of your cars. You can only drive one at a time.” Sometimes I did not like my realtor’s advice. I worked hard to pay off two cars. I wanted to keep my Mustang. However, my family had outgrown the car. Five people could not fit into my Mustang, but we could fit into a home.

I am so glad that I listened to Loice and built my custom designed home and sold my  2000 Ford Convertible Mustang. When I first got a divorce, I left my Mercedes Benz on the lot and drove off in that 2000 Mustang. The Mustang was with me through some tough times. I had owned that car for over 8 years. However, shopping for new items for my home decreased the pain of selling my car.

There is nothing like selecting your own stuff for your home! I love the idea that I am the first to live in my home. I had fun in the KB Home Center with Loice.

My 2000 Ford Mustang

This was the last day that I owned my 2000 Ford Convertible Mustang

When I went to the KB Home Center, I knew what I needed in my home. I wanted granite counter tops, an island, ceramic tile throughout my home, a beautiful door, and a garage door opener. I knew I needed dark carpet in my children’s rooms.

I loved this tub! I can spend hours in the tub.

I loved this tub! I spend hours in my tub.

I needed granite in the kitchen and on the island.

I needed granite in the kitchen!

I searched for what I needed to make my home look beautiful.  I made practical decisions because I understood resale value; I also made decisions that felt right in my soul. I knew that I needed grass to sink my toes in and to hide Easter eggs. I wanted enough room to park my two cars.

I love my patio

I love my patio!

I wanted fruit trees in the back yard. When I adopted three of my children, I knew I needed more space for all of us to continue to grow. Home ownership is the way I sought to provide my children a sense of stability and to show them how much I loved them.

Chris creates his garden

Chris creates his garden

My Children Motivate Me

My Children Motivate Me

I purchased a home to share my political views and be a real member of a community.  I can put political signs in my yard. Being the Democratic Precinct Chair  for Precinct 12 means a great deal to me. I want to share information with my neighbors.

Chris did a great job growing okra.

Chris did a great job growing okra.

I  entertain everyday at work. I am a professor; my students demand my knowledge, my time, my energy, and my humor. When I go home, there is very little juice left to give my family. I feel peace when I am at home. I get replenished.

There are days that I want to share my time with others. I look forward to entertaining in my home.  I love playing cards, watching movies, and eating great meals. So far, I have been able to have a few close friends and family members over. Now, I am ready to expand my home to other friends. It is important that I continue to grow socially. I have spent most of my life pursuing degrees and other material goods. I am ready to do other things to enhance my life outside of school and work. I love being a mother and working in my yard.

When I was selecting bricks and other items for my home, I  really did not know what I was doing. I am proud of the outcome. I love the archway to my home. I love my choices; I am a proud home owner. When I look at the photos that I posted, I see God’s sun rays shining in most of the photos. I know He blessed me and my family.

I hope sharing my secret helps other women decide to purchase a home. I love my life today. I feel more at peace with myself, and I know owning a home has influenced my attitude. I am finishing up my dissertation within the next couple of months; I am conducting interviews for Chapter 4 of my dissertation. I love the fact that I am 45, a single mother, a business woman, a published author, and a homeowner.

Home Owner

Home Owner

4 thoughts on “My Coming Out Story by Sheila Pope

  1. Dee says:

    Bishop Jakes has spoken about Transformation 2014! So glad you decided to share your story!
    One of my favorite quotes from his sermon the Year of Transformation: “The struggle with change comes from comfort and things which are familiar”. Now that you are changing and shifting, you are no longer comfortable, which makes you able to make room for the newness coming into your family’s life.

    Blessings my Sistafriend!


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