While I don't intend for this to become an ongoing "postsecret"-esque thread, this came to my realization a few days ago and I need to acknowledge this to myself.
I am 30 and I worked as an engineer from about 23/24 to 27, earning $50k a year and being single at the time, I could buy lots of bike-related equipment. I consider myself frugal and I don't consider myself a big spender, for instance I've never had the urge to buy a LCD tv, or HD-stuff. I drive a stock 2000 Honda civic. The list goes on. I think at the time I didn't really consider my living standard as anything substantial or extravagent.
A political science bachelor and a Masters degree later, and a few apts later, I look at the bank account with tribulation because while I have no problem with groceries, bike equipment is COMPLETELY out of the question. I lust after so many things(Williams System 19, Vittoria new rubber, SRAM OG-1070 to name a few) that sometimes I wonder if I am going crazy. I guess the thing I am trying to say is that I never fully took in the entire picture when I when back to school, I was disenchanted with work so I returned to school. Part of me is still stuck thinking about all the stuff I want. The easiet choice is just to tell myself, "you don't need those things, yours isn't broken" But hell, it's not easy.