I could use some of that professional and financial optimism right now. Currently I'm having trouble not counting the reasons I have to be jaded with my career situation. I'm making about double what I was two years ago, and living nearly the same lifestyle, but after student loan payments, retirement, owning a car (which I never used to), and a bit more on rent, I'm basically not any better off than when I was living off a measly grad student stipend. I’m not ok with that.
In the grand scheme of things, I'm not that bad off, but meanwhile I have friends who never went to school and are making 2+ times what I am and own houses already. Theoretically I should be able to squeeze a lot more money out of my career compared to what I am now, but that possibility shows no signs of materializing at the moment. Right now I’m stuck in a position when I know that I’m underpaid but can’t escape just yet because I’d be burning bridges and that’s just how the academic/scientific world works.