I finally beat Legend of Zelda

Sometimes, achieving something you have failed to achieve for literally decades feels like overcoming insurmountable obstacles. Other times, apparently, it feels like those obstacles melted away when you weren't looking and when you try again the task seems almost embarrassingly easy. I have complicated feelings about Legend of Zelda, because childhood.  One of my earliest memories is of my whole family gathered around our giant old fake wood TV watching my father defeat Ganon.  For years as a child I never even tried, because my older brother told me I wasn't allowed to play the Nintendo because I was too young to be any good at it.

By the time I was 'old enough' -- I don't know if that means one of my parents found out and told him to stop preventing me from using the Nintendo or if he got sick of playing it and stopped trying -- our game cartridge had developed a flaw.  It took on average a dozen attempts to get it to load correctly, involving a great deal of fiddling and wedging things into the compartment to tighten the connection between the cartridge and the system.  When it did load, something like half the time, all the save files were wiped.

One time, my mother yelled at me for buying a key in one of the shops in Legend of Zelda. Like, actually genuinely was angry with me for buying a fake item with fake money in a video game.

I had beat the first quest plenty of times, but just a couple days ago I finally beat the second. The thing is, most of the things that had made it hard before weren't there anymore. I was playing on a Wii, which has significantly more stable save files than my family's old, damaged NES cartridge. I was at my partner's apartment, where neither my mother nor my brother could walk in. That was good, because at one point I did, actually, need to buy a key. And I had access to the internet, which makes a big difference, obviously. And years of therapy and anti-anxiety meds have got me to a place where I don't panic when I'm fighting Ganon, so it was pretty easy to beat him with 16 heart containers, the red ring, and two potions.

At the end of both quests I had 78 deaths, though at least 5 of those (I didn't really keep track) were deliberate, I-need-to-save-now deaths. (Is there a way to save without killing yourself in Zelda?  I feel like I remember one but now I'm not sure if I dreamt it.)