I don't understand how Steve...
was able to stay in the past and live with Peggy.
But I guess this is because I'm confused about how the time travel works in Endgame. Specifically this one question:
Does Hulk (or whoever is operating the machine) pull people out of the past, or do they leave on their own accord?
It seems to be implied that Hulk forcibly pulls people out of the timeline. For example,
He pulls Ant-Man out of the past several times with no input from Ant-Man. (Although to be fair, this is before Tony perfects the machine).
He pulls Hawkeye out of the past on the first successful run. This surprises Hawkeye, and seems to be at least partially against his will.
He tries unsuccessfully to pull Steve out of the past at the end, but this doesn't work and Steve stays in the past.
But at the same time, there seem to be a lot of scenes implying that you stay in the past until you actively press the button to leave.
We see pretty much ever single Avenger involved in the "Time Heist" press the button to leave. Except for...
Nebula can't press the button, so she gets stuck in the past. (Until 2014 Thanos/Gamora/Nebula take her back)
Presumably, if Steve was able to plan on staying in the past, he must have had some control in how and when he left.
So which is it? Why did Steve and everyone in the Time Heist have agency in leaving the past, when Clint and Ant-Man didn't? And if they did have agency in deciding when to leave, why did they need Hulk to pull them out in 5 seconds in the first place?
This is not a dupe of this question. That question addresses why Steve didn't create a new timeline or a paradox, but it doesn't answer why Hulk didn't stop his plan of living in this past.