My 1000th Post: Today is the Day Tears of the Kingdom is Released

As this goes up, I am sitting in the parking lot of my local Best Buy. Either in my car or in the folding chair I keep in my trunk near the door. I think my Pro Controller for my switch is dying, since I’m getting a lot of weird input lag and short bursts of unresponsiveness that seems to be getting worse rather than staying the same or getting better, so I’m going to try to get one of the Tears of the Kingdom themed Pro Controllers if this store has any [they did not, but I managed to order one online that will arrive while I’m in New Jersey]. I’m not sure they will, since there is no guarantee that they’ll actually have in-store units of any hardware these days, now that scalpers buy up everything instantly. If I can’t get it today, I will probably wait to see if they ever restock rather than picking up a normal one. After all, I regretted just buying an OLED switch when I wanted one rather than waiting for what I figured was the inevitable upgrade or special edition unit that I just had to buy.

Mostly, though, I’m making sure I can get my copy of The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom at the earliest moment possible since I know most of my friends purchased the digital version and have been playing it for ten or eleven hours already. I doubt most of them stayed up all night to play it, but I know some of them stayed up very late to get a few hours in before they sleep and while I don’t think any of them would be so cruel as to tell me anything about the game before I can play it, I know most of the rest of the internet will not be so considerate. I need to pick it up, get home, settle in, and play as much as I can stand to play this weekend.

I leave for a trip in about three and a half days, and won’t be home for a week after that, so I’ve got to enjoy as much of it as I can while I’m in a good position to do so. I’ll still be able to play TotK while I’m on my trip, but it won’t be the same. I’ll have other stuff that demands my attention. I will be in a different place, away from my familiar comforts. And even when I get back, I will need to divide my time to make sure that I’m prepared to move at the start of June. There is a lot going on and I’ve set aside these three days for this game, so I need to make the most of them.

Today is important (or at least personally notable) for another reason as well. This is my 1000th blog post. Coincidentally, almost all of them were written between the time Breath of the Wild came out in 2017 and now. I started daily blog updates in November of 2017, wrote about four hundred consecutive posts, took a few years off with some sporadic updates, and then returned to regular posting in August of 2021, which I’ve carried on with only a few planned interruptions since then.

This is the most of one thing that I’ve written, even if I exclude the old Coldheart and Iron chapters and their modern replacements, the Infrared Isolation chapters, which I shouldn’t do since I wrote those for this blog. Each post averages out to at least a thousand words each, which means I’ve written over a million words for this blog. That’s a lot of words! Even with the multiple rewrites of the longest thing I’ve ever written put together, I’m not even to half that. It’s a truly boggling amount of stuff that I’ve written and just left around on the internet for people to see or ignore for all eternity.

It is fitting that these two things are happening on the same day. I’ll admit that I thumbed the scales a little bit when I came back from my trip, by skipping more Saturday posts than I absolutely needed to, but it’s not like I planned this. I just realized that, with a tiny bit of tweaking (one extra skipped weekend post), I would hit one thousand posts on the same day that Tears of the Kingdom came out. Serendipity at its finest.

The year after Breath of the Wild came out is what I frequently describe as the last time I was happy. That’s not entirely true, since I’ve been happy since then and that period of time wasn’t without its troubles, but it frequently feels true because of the bright memories of BotW making everything around them look better. I started a romantic relationship that year that, for a while, felt like it would last. I moved in with two of my closest friends and got away from someone who was difficult to live with. Other than Breath of the Wild still being one of my favorite video games, none of that is true anymore. The relationship didn’t last even a year. It turns out that the people I lived with weren’t the people I thought they were. I lost my grandfather, the one person who I put up with the rest of my family for. A lot has changed since then, me included, but I’m still writing. I’m still a storyteller. I’m still doing my best to tell the stories I feel I need to tell.

One of my favorite webcomics, Erfworld, includes a discussion between two characters during the interlude between Chapter 1 and Chapter 2. One of the characters is trying to avoid using his skills because he’s worried about the moral repercussions. The other character tells him that “the talent itself supplies the demand.” The implication in the comic is that the first character’s cleverness is a part of who he is and any way he uses it, even the seemingly innocuous ways he’s been using it after objecting to the clearly morally difficult ones, will have moral repercussions. Him being there means that he will use his skills and that he should consider the way that EVERYTHING he does has consequences that will have ramifications beyond the immediate cause and effect.

While I’m not morally conflicted about the consequences of my skill or talent for writing, I definitely feel that having this skill requires me to do this like write this blog. Not out of an obligation to the world or other people, but out of an obligation to myself. To the skill I’ve spent all these years developing and improving. Having this talent itself creates the demand for something like this. I am a storyteller who has spent decades honing their craft and thus I must tell stories. I am a writer and thus I must write.

I don’t feel like I’ve changed a lot in this time, but I think I probably have. I’ve always felt this way, about my gender identity and all that, but I never really explored it or let myself consider it in more than briefest passing. When I really think about it, the only thing that hasn’t really changed in these last six years of writing is that I am a storyteller. At my most basic, at my very core, I am a teller of stories. That is as true now as it was back when I started writing to escape the misery of my childhood home, even if it would take me a decade and a half to realize it. I am not the same person I was back then, too much time has passed and too much has happened for that to be true, but I also am, somewhat, the same person.

I wouldn’t still be writing this blog named after a poem years ago if I was, would I? I’d have moved on to something else other than a two-word phrase I feel best encapsulates the idea that you can’t use the same words twice because both you and the person you’re speaking to will have changed since you last said them. I’ll admit I sometimes feel self-conscious about the kind of “edgy” tone to the name of my blog but, like most things I’ve put here, it’s okay if no one else gets it. I understand what it means and that’s enough for me. I am both sides of the conversation this blog represents. Everything here was written by me for me and it’s okay if other people see it and find value in it, but that’s a happy accident. That’s a bonus along the path.

I do not know what this game will bring, when I finally get home and can plug it into my Switch. I do not know if I will be fighting a controller that doesn’t seem to want to work anymore, if I’ll be fighting a new one that is somehow presenting the same issues (making me worry, once again, that the new OLED Switch I bought is the true source of the problem), or if things will be working fine because I figured out what was wrong with my Switch and Pro Controller. I don’t know if I’ll be taking time away from the game, short breathers or longer reflections, to write about my experience. I don’t know if I’ll be recording any of my play-through of the game, maybe putting some of it on Twitch or maybe just so I can share it with my friends. I don’t know if I’ll take time away from this game to write or to tell stories (regaling my friends with my misadventures in the game counts as telling stories). I don’t know if I’ll hyperfocus on this game to the exclusion of all else or if the burnout I’ve been battling will keep me from being able to truly invest in the game.

What I do know is that I will get the game. I know I will leave in three days to celebrate the marriage of two of my favorite people as one of their Persons of Honor. I know I will drive another two thousand miles to complete my own “there and back again” journey. I know I will rally my friends around me to help me move into a new apartment. I know that there will be sunshine, rain clouds, cool days, warm days, food I love, food that destroys my digestive system (metaphorically), and that there will be plenty of new things for me to think about and, eventually, write about. I will see old friends, I will see new friends, I will make new acquaintances, I will remember old ones I expect to never see again, and I will tell stories.

I know that this will be enough for me. It will be all I could have asked for even if it turns out to not be all that I had hoped. I don’t know that I will look back on this period of my life and think that this was the last time that I was actually happy, but I know that I will look back on it and know that, for this period of time, I was content.

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