Sometimes it takes you up, sometimes it tears you down inside

Cropchristmas-concert-at-the-temple-of-santiago-2013-day-3-8

Click 4 source. (Her face tho’ 🙂 )

“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?

p.s.
thx. @rhiminee for posting this on your tumblr!

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41 Responses to Sometimes it takes you up, sometimes it tears you down inside

  1. Mandaberry says:

    That writer summed up the experience of coming home beautifully, though I haven’t observed my near and dear ones struggling for long when they came home, with one exception. I mentioned all this on Soul David under my other screen name, but it was a cousin of mine who struggled with coming home. He summed it up for me like this, “It’s like going from talking about gold to talking about dirt.”
    I hope we can be respectful and patient. Hope hope hope.

  2. I’m really glad this topic has come up. I know we are all excited for David to come home but I think we need to put ourselves in his shoes and think about how the transition will feel to him.

    I think we all know that David gives 110% to whatever he commits himself to. Right now he is still in “Mission Mode” and that is getting his undivided attention and when he gets home he is going to have to shift gears.

    I am totally on board when it comes to letting him know how much he has been missed but I think we need to be careful about putting too much pressure on him to “deliver” to the fans. There is a fine line between showing our support and expecting too much from him too soon.

  3. freofan says:

    I agree totally. In my own experience, I have lived in four countries and currently living overseas now. Coming back to your native country is enough culture shock in itself. Just give him space to decompress and he will contact his fans when he is ready.

  4. archugeezer says:

    Thanks, TOfan. A timely topic for sure. David hasn’t even seen his family or close friends for two years, let alone his devoted–and sometimes demanding–fans. The “transition” is different for every returning missionary, and for different reasons.

    I’m patient; he’s worth it and he’s earned it. When he’s ready, I’m ready.

    • dangitdavid says:

      Well said!!! We’ve waited two years…what’s a little longer!! He is certainly worth it and deserves, as well as needs, to take this down time so that he can become all he can be for us when he’s ready….I’m here for the long haul and will continue to wait :).

      AND…that top pic!!! Gahhhhh!!! Definitely worth waiting for 😉

  5. rooster says:

    archugeezer, i am with you

    • davidarchiefan4life says:

      And me. I do feel for how torn he will most surely be. Happy to get back to family and friends but one foot still back in Chile. We’ve waited two years so we’ve definitely shown we are a patient group. He deserves our patience and he’s worth waiting for.

  6. Tina says:

    One thing that I think sets David apart from the average returning missionary is that in his career he does have the opportunity to help so many people — both through his emphasis on charity and through his music itself. I can definitely see how someone coming back from spending 2 years in service of something they believe deeply in would feel a little lost with just Economics 101 to focus on. Not saying that college isn’t important but hopefully you all know what I mean.

    I have a lot of excitement about what might be coming up and am not afraid to have and express wishes for what David may do in the coming year. As you said, TOfan, David has a great ability to focus on what he needs. I know he will take the time he needs to reconnect with family and adjust to life outside of being a missionary. I can’t believe it’s been almost 2 years already! It’s been the longest and the shortest 2 years of my life lol.

  7. Marylee-NCGirl says:

    First, let me express how much I love this article & also the thoughts of my fellow archies, as well! I SO agree with all who feel David has earned all the time he needs to readjust to his surroundings once again & share precious time with his family and friends. I am SO willing to wait a while longer, as I know this homecoming may be overwhelming for him. Take your time, David ~ we’ll be here when you’re ready. 🙂

  8. Kizzi says:

    I am excited about possibilities in 2014. I can wait to see what will unfold. 2 years has taught me the value of patience which I am woefully short of frequently.

    I think there is a continuum of experience when returning home after a spiritual journey.

    “Every traveler has a home of his own, and he learns to appreciate it the more from his wandering.”
    ― Charles Dickens

    What ever David’s home is, he is closer to that self knowledge. And I am confident that music is one of David’s home turfs. After 3+ years of public performance post Idol then 2 years off, he most definitely has a basis of comparison.

  9. peppertara says:

    Love all the great comments here shared by everyone. David certainly deserves the utmost respect and of course should take as much time as he needs and wants for himself. He will know his fans are still here, I’m sure things will unfold naturally. After a period of time and adjustment I am thinking he will also want to return to his other mission, his music…in whatever way he chooses.
    Thanks for the interesting subject matter TOfan, certainly is appropriate at this time.
    Imagine that….2 years almost gone by. We’re still here, fansites are still here, David will be back soon and #DA2014 looks pretty good. 🙂
    Wishing David only the best of course and his wonderful fans have been faithful supporters of a remarkable young artist and an inspiring young man.

  10. bianca4archie says:

    First, whenever I see that picture I experience an overwhelming desire to straighten his collar, LOL.

    So as I read most of you, we should not discuss anything we’d like to see, hope to see, or wish we could see for David until he “decompresses” for fear that will put undue pressure on him? That just saying the trite and untrue “I can’t wait” is pressure? Or where is this fine line drawn? As always, I don’t want to be a #badfan, but on the other hand I lean toward the belief that the man David brings home will create his own path and the meandering wishes of fans will not confuse him one bit.

    I’m really baffled. On the other hand, I have some nice Valentines on my blog for fans to give to other fans. http://www.bearsafloat.net/smileblog/?p=2317

    • TOfan says:

      Guess you missed my paragraph that starts “I’m not worried” 🙂

      Nice Valentines, Ms. B.!

      • bianca4archie says:

        I saw that…not getting the impression so much from you as from others who have posted comments. Maybe I’m talking about something different but when people say, “just give him space,” “just give him respect,” and “we need to be careful about putting too much pressure on him to “deliver” to the fans” I wonder how we have not been respectful, how have we pushed, and how can he NOT be the one who will decide when he is ready to “deliver” to the fans?

        Are folks just trying to manage their own expectations about what David could do? Or do you really think the so-called fandom is in control?

        • marin says:

          I must admit, I used to be one of those who worried about the weight of fans’ expectations on David. All that ended when he made his Announcement. That told me as much as he appreciates our support, he’ll stay true to himself and follow his own heart… not cave to what we “demand.” If he was vulnerable to pressure on him to deliver, we would have heard more from him these last 2 yrs. There is no way that fans tweeting him like crazy to do a tour or vlog and such will pressure him in the least. I’d bet he’ll reconnect when he’s ready and not a moment sooner.

        • bianca4archie says:

          I’m sorry to be such a grumpy monkey. 😦 I know everyone who has posted here respectfully loves David. Me, too, I hope, despite my sensitivity to words like “should.” I do know that Ms. Deb is a thoughtful and delightful writer as well as a designated wit. Hugs to her and to everyone.

          • TOfan says:

            pshaw! I didn’t see you as being grumpy, just honest! I’m not crazy about words like “should” either … and re “the meandering wishes of fans will not confuse him one bit,” couldn’t agree more! I try to manage my own expectations just for my own survival, lol.

  11. tammi says:

    sad that only 340ish people entered that contest on davids site… i don’t think there are enough of us left to put that much pressure on him… 😦

    • Tina says:

      I could be wrong here but I really don’t think the number of entries in that contest says much about the number of fans David has. I consider myself a pretty big fan (lol understatement) and I didn’t enter. What am I gonna do with a square of fabric cut from a backdrop? If I were crafty or creative, it would be awesome. I think the contest was a cute idea and great for those interested but I there are several others that I know are still fans who didn’t enter either. Now if they were giving away a VIP at his first show back — whenever that may be!! — I would be alllllll up on that 😉

  12. Marylee-NCGirl says:

    just want to take a minute to, once again, say how much I enjoyed your article, Deb and found it to be thought provoking with David’s homecoming so near~comments shared earlier were obviously out of deep respect for David. I sincerely meant for mine to be. 🙂

  13. janey79 says:

    TOfan, love what you said in the countdown calendar space.

    • TOfan says:

      glad it made some kind of sense 🙂

      • janey79 says:

        It made a ton of sense basically because the day David is back from his mission has little to do with his return to public life.

        • TOfan says:

          For me, it was fun counting down monthly when 2014 was so far off in the distance … and for others, counting down to his return to home soil is a cause for celebration, even if he’s not back in public life. I’m certainly excited for that, but I feel weird “counting down” to it. Whatever works for you, I guess. 🙂

          • janey79 says:

            Indeed! I must admit, it matters not to me where David is. Similarly, I was amused when he was in the Philippines and US fans wanted him back in the states. It’s not like he’s anyone’s neighbor and is gonna swing by unexpectedly to rake their leaves, lol. Tbh, I find the outpouring of emotions very interesting, no matter what they are.

  14. refnaf says:

    Great discussion here… thanks for the post and article on RM’s TOfan. I find myself worrying more about the fanbase than for David because I agree that he will do what he needs to do when he gets back and not succumb to any fan “pressure”. I think this part from the article applies clearly to David “ 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.” I think he will not feel “lost“ when he gets back but better prepared to really get on with his lifelong “mission “ of making good music and doing it his way and in God’s time
    The imploding fanbase is my worry TOfan… that’s why I find myself distancing myself and just laying low…I find it hard when fans judge others >> I will be supporting David with bells on whenever he gives the word that he is ready to rock and roll!!!

    • TOfan says:

      {{{Ref}}} glad you delurked!

      And off-topic but did anyone else watch the Beatles anniversary tribute last night and wish David was on it blowing everyone away with his Good Place/Let It Be mashup?? *sigh*

    • Kizzi says:

      Ditto. Wise words.

  15. peppertara says:

    Oh I loved the Beatles anniversary tribute! Now that was a great musical show. I absolutely thought of David singing on that show and how it would have made it just perfect. Must say, there were some great performances and tributes. The only thing missing was D’s voice….yes, “Let It Be”, “Long and Winding Road”, etc. would have been stellar. Also couldn’t help but wish he was there singing “Maybe I’m Amazed”…..the whole dang song!
    and refnaf…..”I find it hard when fans judge others >> I will be supporting David with bells on whenever he gives the word that he is ready to rock and roll!!!
    Ditto! David has some pretty terrific fans. 🙂

  16. peppertara says:

    Forgot to mention “imagine” in that list, of course David singing that song would have been incredible too. One can imagine these things. 🙂

  17. peppertara says:

    Haha tammi….Well Stevie Wonder did a great job on WCWIO but David probably could have worked it out too. 🙂

  18. emmegirl14 says:

    Great article tofan and wonderful posts! Am I anxious to get things started, YESSSSS!!!
    But, more than that I want him to be in his good place. This is an important time for him, for this is the beginning of the rest of his life – personally as well as professionally.

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