Of course you have equity. Now, your equity may have faded. If you have been supporting yourself for as long as you say, you probably are in a phase of life where your equity has depreciated, and if you didn’t parlay it into some sort of wealth, gone. I have often observed that a middle-aged woman gets to experience the sexual invisibility that an 18-year-old male experiences.
But because of this inverse experience you never had a moment where your romantic and sexual options would quadruple if you doubled your salary. In fact you (or at least most women) see FEWER options as you earn more money.
You aren’t trying to earn enough to support a man and a couple kids. That’s not how women think. When I look at a higher salary but a harder job I also add “probably a family.” Not women. Women’s average household size shrinks as their personal income grows. Men’s relationship to family and salary is inverse- bigger salary means his household size grows.
I worked like a dog in my 20s. I had nothing else to do; I was invisible to women. Once I got through law school and had disposeable income, I was in a completely different world in terms of social romantic/sexual options.
That’s motivation womeen don’t have. If you don’t like being a lawyer why would you do it? Want more sex options? Just put yourself out there more until a good choice comes along. At worst have to lose some weight. But working harder and making more money does nothing to improve your sexual marketability. In fact making less money just makes you more interesting to men because they think they can offer you more support.