I think I may be in the same boat as well but I can’t be sure. I don’t seem to have broken any of the rules but, who knows! I have a few posts that were curated/picked up by publications and after that nothing. I’ve noticed some people get curated despite breaking the rules.
I agree with you on being free from looking at the metrics. I wouldn’t be able to get paid on Medium anyway, because there’s no Stripe where I currently live. I enjoy writing and I will keep at it, hoping that there will be some interested parties out there even if I’m not the most popular writer out there.
p.s. I’m a Virgo too so I really enjoy your horoscope posts.