I know it's just other small RM devs, but it still always feels legitimizing to have folks email me in private with a steam key, requesting a review of their game. Look ma, I've made it to the big leagues.
time and time again I enjoy dramatic remarks on how I should find a better job.
As it stands, I go to work for 10-14 days a month. At work, I have time for my private projects. I arrive home, my mind is clear.
So yes, the pay sucks. But I have what so many lose after graduation. Freedom.