For example, my church choir is planning a trip to the UK next August; I'm hoping to be able to go, as it sounds like it's going to be a great two weeks. We're having a meeting about it tonight, in fact, and anyone who wants to go is required to bring a cheque as a deposit on the trip. Once tax receipts are issued on the deposits, they'll be non-refundable. Now, there are a number of reasons why I'm afraid I might not be able to go; financial considerations are fairly obvious as a reason, as is the possibility that in the meantime, I may end up with a job that won't permit me the necessary time off. But with proper planning and a little bit of luck (and/or help from Above), I just might be able to pull it off. I do know that I've got a bit of work coming to me in the Fall, if only for about an hour every Saturday, but it's a start, and every little bit will help—especially as it's vaguely related to what I went to school for.
On a slightly-related note, I'm 27 years old and, in spite of all my hard work, education and job applications, I have been unable to find a job that will serve my needs as well as an employer's. I know I could easily get a job at a call centre, but I'm saving that particular option for a worst-case scenario, because working at those soul-sucking hellholes would probably fling me right back into depression, and I probably wouldn't even be able to keep singing with even one of my choirs. As choral music—and the people involved with it, of course—is very nearly all that's kept me sane in the last few years, giving it up would probably not be the best idea, and I won't do it without a fight. But people with worse backgrounds than mine have managed to end up doing something that satisfies them (or at least doesn't actually harm them), so I'm cautiously optimistic that I'll be able to do so as well.
My love life has been, as I think I've mentioned before, an unmitigated disaster. And while I'm perfectly aware that I don't need a man (or a woman—after all, I am at least mildly bisexual) to make my life complete, I do sometimes get lonely; however, I've long since admitted to myself that with my looks (about as beautiful as Jabba the Hutt, but with legs instead of a tail and with a lot of long brown hair) and personality (stubborn, introspective, requiring more "alone time" than most people and often very sarcastic), I am unlikely to find a partner. However, I am cautiously optimistic that I'll find a constructive way to deal with that loneliness; perhaps I'm already halfway there.
And finally, I have by no means completely recovered from my depression. Although it doesn't hit me as frequently as it used to, I do still have some days when the thought of having to get out of bed is unpalatable at best, and although I haven't actually felt suicidal in many years, I must acknowledge that the possibility exists that I might someday feel that way again. (Hence my hope that I might be able to avoid working in a call centre—that would require reserves of strength that I simply don't have at the moment.) And yet, I am cautiously optimistic that someday, although I may not ever completely conquer my depression, I will at least learn to live with it in such a way that it no longer impairs my ability to be a full participating member of society.
Cautious optimism. It may not be the bright, cheerful and wholly positive attitude that I wish I could have, but at least it's a start. Perhaps it's even a more rational start than pure optimism could be—at this point, anyway. And it's certainly a lot better than the absolute pessimism I normally felt a couple of years ago! :)