When I was a student back home in India, I always heard about people discussing about their experience when they got their first paycheck. Some said that they were happy and some felt extreme excitement.
Yesterday, I received my first paycheck for my first 15 days of work as a Graduate Student Assistant at my University (I work and study both). I went to the post office to find my check at my mailbox. I can’t say if I was too excited or not, I can’t express that feeling. (Yes, I am a bit off the track on exhibiting emotions. I can’t cry or smile when I am ‘supposed’ to do either of the two).
So, as I tried opening up my mailbox but putting in the right combinations, I could not open it. I don’t know why. I tried for five times to open it and every time I failed. On the other days, I am an expert in opening up of mailbox via combinations. Strangely I noticed that my hands were shaking, and due to that I could not open it up. The sixth time, I tried and I succeeded in opening up of the mailbox. To my surprise I could not find my check. I went back to the payroll office and came to know that my check was posted to my mailbox two days earlier.
I went back to the post-office and asked for a student assistant working there to help me out and he found my check in my mailbox, which I couldn’t see. I was surprised, but soon a ‘strange’ feeling superseded that emotion.
As soon as the student handed me my paycheck, my hands stopped shaking and my brain interpreted that my heartbeat was more than 90/minute- I know this was a nerdy science talk, but I am sorry I love science. Soon I found out that I was not able to focus on the envelope, and my eyes were a little bit watery. I think this is what is defined as the ‘happy tears’.
I was happy. After all those 15 tiring days of work, severe neck pains, a super hectic schedule and the overwhelming night shifts; finally my hard work was paid. I work 18 hours a week and I earn quite a good amount of money, but this happiness was not for the money I earned, this was something different. I thanked God for all the mercy he bestowed upon me and my University for helping me with the financial aid .
My mom was much more happier than I was. She called and congratulated me for my success. She was the only one who was awake (it was midnight in India) to talk to me after I received my paycheck. She is a great woman with a much more clear thought process than I have. She told me to spend the money on myself and enjoy. But to be frank, I am finding it really tough to spend. Every time I think of something to spend on, an idea of not spending it appears in my mind.
I know it is a bit strange, but I think this is human behavior. Life is a sum of all these small events that takes place within us and in our surroundings. Integrate all these small bits of happiness and differentiate all the negative thoughts and events from your life.
So when you get your first paycheck, spend it wisely and let me know about your experience. You are your happiness quotient; nobody else can make you happy unless you want to be.