Written by Jenny from FOD.
“The Next Thing in My Life”
I have given myself 30 minutes, and 30 minutes only, to write this reflection. So here goes!
David Archuleta has announced plans to embark upon a two-year LDS mission, starting at some point during the first half of 2012.
That simple statement has created a maelstrom within Archie fandom.
The fan reaction has been complex and varied: joy, pride, excitement, sadness, anger, confusion, fear. Twitter exploded; FOD’s comments section exploded (and is still explosive). “This is so David.” “I’m so happy for him; I can see that he’s happy, and that’s enough for me.” “I guess this is the end of his music career.” “I can’t believe I won’t hear from him for two years!” “The music industry will leave him behind.” “He won’t return to pop music.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, the announcement sparked a sometimes contentious discussion of religious doctrine right here on FOD.
I just want to say that all fans’ reactions and emotions are valid. If you are one of the many fans who are shocked, sad, worried, and grieving, that certainly does not preclude you from the exalted status of one who “gets David.” You are all entitled to feel exactly how you feel, and since we are a family here, you can come here to express those feelings. And then get the proper amount of virtual love and support.
The Stages of Grief
It is interesting to observe fans moving through these stages. C’mon, let’s poke just a bit of fun at ourselves.
Denial: “I bet he won’t do a full mission. It must be a 6-month thing. And I bet his mission will be in L.A., recording and performing music, because that definitely counts as a mission!”
Anger: “How could he make this announcement right before Christmas? Why is he throwing his career away? How could he do this?!?!?”
Bargaining: “DAVID! If you will just change your mind, we will totally be here for you! Please, please, please do your mission in [fill in the blank here with your geographical area].”
Depression: “I’ve been crying my eyes out; I don’t know if I have any tears left. What will I do for the next two years?!?”
Acceptance: “I’ve had some time to get used to the idea, and I think it’s going to be okay. He will be back. He WILL be back! HE WILL BE BACK!!!!!!”
David knows where he will be serving his mission. We do not know yet. I hope it’s somewhere where he can become more fluent in Spanish. Honduras would be way cool, and this not a hint, just speculation on my own part.
The mission will begin at some point within the first half of 2012. That could mean any time January-June, couldn’t it? I’m willing to bet that it will be closer to May/June. Again, speculation.
During his mission, David will not be tweeting, making vlogs to post on YouTube, or allowed access to the internet. He will not have direct communication with his fans. This has been verified. He CAN communicate via his family and the church, and will certainly do so. So you WILL get updates on David’s well-being. Perhaps he will be able to write a blog as sponsored through the church. We’re not sure yet.
One thing we do know: for two years, David will be immersed in serving others and spreading the word of God according to the doctrines of the LDS church. He must lose himself in love of and service to others, and to do that, he must be freed from the distraction and chaos of the music industry, the internet, and the world in general. “We need silence to be able to touch souls.”