A young Orthodox priest, who in addition to the work at his parish also edits a journal on the Orthodox faith and life for young persons, characterized hope similarly. Thus, the call to work on oneself was one heard and practised in various everyday and institutional contexts in the Soviet period, and one that remains central to post-Soviet conceptions of personhood. Irina is a twenty-six-year-old theatre actress who had recently moved to Moscow from a small city in Central Russia, and works in the library of the same institute in which Andrei works, and to which she had unsuccessfully applied to be a student. In fact, there are deep cultural-historical roots that support both Andrei and Irina’s focus on the necessity of individual’s working on themselves to realize their hopes. For in both Andrei and Irina’s case, they have maintained their hope in the face of continuous career disappointments and setbacks, and several personal difficulties.