I’m sitting here trying to list all the things I’ve learned from David Archuleta … now why is my screen suddenly so blurry?
Not sure why thinking about this chokes me up…. Because the list is so long? Because he’s still only 19 but could out-Yoda Yoda? Because love fills my heart when I think of how grateful I am for his music, his message, the beautiful people he’s brought into my life?
But, as David always says, keep moving forward, put one foot in front of the other, so here goes.
I’ve learned that winning isn’t everything. And not just winning American Idol. Don’t get me wrong, I was crushed, crushed when he didn’t win. I made those little girls in that video seem mellow the way I carried on when Ryan read out Cook’s name. And I admit I held a huge grudge against Mr. Cook for a long time after. But it was the way our David was clearly thrilled with being runner up, and the way he gave full credit to Cook for deserving to win that brought me around. Made me see the Light … On. (sorry, couldn’t resist!)
Beyond Idol, I’ve learned that winning the radio-spin game isn’t everything either. If David had believed that and listened to those early songwriting partners who kept telling him “it’s not catchy enough, not hooky enough, needs to repeat more,” we wouldn’t have the amazing TOSOD album we have today. And it is amazing.
I’ve learned to disco with the flow. When I first heard David talk — and sing — about how attitude makes all the difference and to welcome the surprising twists and turns life can bring you, I admit I thought he was being a little naive. But if I’ve picked up nothing else on this David trip, I’ve noticed that the most amazing people, experiences and joy can come along if I stop trying to control every moment and sit back and enjoy the ride.
I’ve learned age is just a number. David spouts the wisdom of a 102-year-old sage while he turns 88-year-old fans into squeeing teenagers. You’re as young as the music you listen to. That’s my new motto.
I’ve learned to mosh, blog, text, tweet and knock back wheatgrass shots – all thanks to David. Next, I’ll be jogging in hotel hallways.
I’ve learned “to thine own self be true” – yes, I know those are Will Shakespeare’s words – but David lives them every day in an industry where “truth” and “self” don’t always go hand-in-hand. How he has the courage to remain so true to his adorkable self, embrace his goofballness, and be so comfortable in his own skin — at 19 flippin’ years old!!! — inspires me every day.
I’ve learned to focus more on what I can give rather than what I can get. If those “today’s task” tweets of D.’s about calling grandparents, visiting neighbours and writing letters were from anyone else, I’d find them incredibly annoying. But I know David actually does those things so they make me want to try and do them too.
I’ve learned to hope again. To believe that good things do happen to good people. And that prayer and love can work miracles – can move mountains. David’s music fills me with that hope – throws open every window and lets the sun stream in.
Most of all, I’ve learned to be grateful. Not only for this music, this voice, this amazing person and all the dear David friends I’ve made, but because I’m here. Now. Every day I’m thankful for so many things. I’m flying to SLC this morning for MoTab and I keep pinching myself. I feel beyond blessed to have been given this gift. I want to treasure it carefully and honour it and find a way to give something back.
I learned that from David too.
p.s. How about you guys? What have you learned in the classroom of Professor David Archuleta?