No, you are not living in a dream but it has changed and very much so. The music industry use to control the field by the contacts artist would sign. And if you were not with a major label you had little chance. That has long been passed and now a artist can if they put the work into it, get their music out there.
But if is was just for the money I would have chosen another way to make myself in this world. I have a bass player friend of mine who plays in a band you all would know and he told me, "Bill, it's not for the money we are doing this." Point made and I think as we get older we have to work on not being bitter.
Remember DJ's dig good music and they are always looking for good tracks. They are not making a big living too.