The first thing I've ever gotten paid for was reading a book. Then it was for cleaning my room. Overall, it was payment as positive reinforcement, and these have become some of my favorite time-killers/pass-times, whichever you prefer. If I could have figured out how to get paid for playing tennis, I would have really beat the system. That unfortunately never happened, and honestly, Dad-payment doesn't really count. Moving on. The first thing I've ever gotten paid for from a non-family member was carrying around cute trays of food with my best friend at her parents' dinner parties in the summer. We probably only worked for 30 minutes before we got side tracked, found mango ice cream in the basement freezer, and made our way down to the lake. Payment with minimal effort.
After that it was French tutoring. Lanky freshmen boys would meet me in the library, give me a ten-dollar bill, and ask if I could just tell their mom we actually studied something while they played basketball in gym. No. I'm not a good liar. Payment with finding a voice.
Swim lessons brought payment with empathy for kids who can't coordinate flip-turns quite right. Working in the basement of a pharmacy brought payment with an intense fear of an incredibly dull career. Working at a horse farm brought a new love for young riders and intensified the desire for a horse of my own. When public stables enter city limits, right? These are my girls at the horse farm.
Tomorrow is the first day in living a little bit of a dream job. It's payment for learning, cooking, and teaching. More to come.