If I am truly doing this, can that still be rationalized even when I am very underemployed?
While I won't bog you down on the details, I have a really patchy work history created by frequent layoffs. This created a lot of unemployment time, taking up about a quarter of my post-academic life. On top of that, I am very underpaid for a developer (~40% of the local average pay) so I often struggle making ends meet when I'm out of a job.
I feel pressured from many sides thinking of many possible solutions to choose.