“It’s made me not want to leave, I don’t want to go.”
These words of David’s struck me when I recently watched this video from his 2011 India trip (at 3:32). They struck me because he’d only been there a week!
“How must he feel after being in Chile for two years???” I immediately thought.
Then a friend sent me this article from The Atlantic. This passage in particular made me think of David:
“…But for Mormons today with faith intact, coming home is hard. The advice, often, is to get busy immediately upon returning home. Many Mormons begin school or work mere weeks after coming back from a two-year mission, a turnover rate that surprised me.
“Those first six months were the most difficult of my life,” said Bob Farthingham about coming home from his mission. Farthingham served in England from 1965 to 1967, and as a mission president in Colorado from 2008 to 2011. By the time he said this, I wasn’t surprised. It was the sentiment I heard from countless missionaries, regardless of decade.
There are a number of reasons given. Some Mormons attribute it to a spiritual change in status, that missionaries have a special closeness to the Holy Ghost that leaves when they return. In speaking with missionaries, however, it seems there is something inherently powerful about knowing what to do with every moment of your day, and the confidence that comes from sincere conviction that you are doing important work. Most missionaries are motivated by altruism, believing they are in the field to help other people find the happiness they have found as Mormons. After two years of pushing yourself in the fight, it can be hard to feel you are abandoning the field for more trivial matters.“
As excited as I am to have David return and hear him sing again, I know he’ll be dealing with a loss of sorts. An end to a chapter of his life he looked forward to and probably doesn’t want to end.
I’m not worried about fans going crazy on Twitter or FB asking all sorts of things from him, however. David’s proven that, among his other gifts, he’s skilled at focusing on the information he needs and blocking out the rest (I think even kooky Paula pointed that out once on Idol).
He’s also shown us that he follows a Voice that is not ours. So as I try to manage my own expectations for what will happen when he gets back, I’m not worried about him, more about us.
I feel sure he’ll take the time he needs to transition into his next phase. Whether we can wait just that little bit longer without imploding as a fanbase is another question altogether.
It’s an endless ride, isn’t it?
thx. @rhiminee for posting this on your tumblr!