There’s something bittersweet in finally achieving a long-sought goal. Yes, success is sweet, and there is triumph in completion. But the journey is often the best part, and ending a journey can leave us wondering what to do next. And sometimes success brings changes we didn’t anticipate.
It reminds me of an article I came across shortly after the SCOTUS decision legalizing gay marriage. It talked about how some of the older members of the LGBT community were left feeling like they’d lost the thing which created their shared sense of identity. They’d built their own community, their own subculture, around a sense of shared oppression, of forced separation or segregation from straight culture, of a need to create secure places in which to exist as they really were without risk of judgment and persecution. As the larger cultural forces changed to accept and embrace them, as they were encouraged to be out and visible, as their relationships and realities were validated by law, the thing which had formed and defined the gay subculture disappeared, and the subculture had waned with it. Younger LGBT generations no longer felt drawn to the old subcultural structures.
The World card marks a point where a cycle has come to a long-anticipated end. The student becomes the teacher. And whether this card is perceived as good or bad depends on one’s attitude towards shifting from one cycle to the next. The student who has enjoyed being a student so much they don’t want that part of their life to end will dread graduation.
It’s important that we think about what success will mean for us in our fight. It might mean a very different fight for which we may not be prepared. But it always means that things will change. We never get the chance to rest on our laurels.