There is no finite line between childhood and adulthood. No one can pinpoint the exact moment in time that he or she becomes an adult. It is a blurred line that takes some time to cross, like a bridge over a river that one must cross carefully with slow, measured steps.
For some celebrities, that bridge is crossed by going out in public and drinking, doing drugs, or making spectacles of themselves in an effort to show the world that they are no longer children and are taking part in “grown up” activities. But no matter how hard they try, they can’t shake the world’s opinion that they are still children. The world simply sees them as unruly children. This method of making the transition is also very unhealthy for the celebrity.
Hmmm … perhaps time out of the public’s view is a better answer. As fans, we have watched David grow and can easily see the difference between the young person David was and the man David is today. But like many others, he still has some growing/maturing to do in order to leave the teen label behind and be seen as an adult. So, at what point in time can he definitively say he is now a full-fledged adult? There is no easy answer to that question.
David leaving for two years to go on a mission is not something that most fans are happy about. While his reasons are understandable and we readily agree that we accept it as something he needs to do for himself, he is greatly missed. David spreads joy in a way that few others can. Actually, I’ve never known anyone else who could bring so much happiness to so many with just a smile, a laugh, or a song. And yet, he does it so easily just by being himself.
But, although we miss him, I can’t help but think that this time might be the bridge that David needs in order to cross from “adolescent David” to “adult David” in the world’s view without having to resort to any of the nonsense that some celebrities feel the need to partake in. These two years will give him the gift of time and allow his growth and maturity to be real, not something manufactured in an effort to gain the attention and acceptance of a disinterested public. His mission work will give him a knowledge and maturity that comes from serving others. And it will allow him to cross his bridge in relative anonymity, emerging as a man who is ready to bring that new maturity to his music and his performances, a man ready to take on the music industry.
Without having seen him in over two years, the world will be taking a “fresh” look at the new David Archuleta. It could be just what he needs to remove that blurred line, making it a clean and clear transition. Returning with a new maturity at age 23 should make it easier for the world to see and accept that he is no longer a “teen star” and that it’s time to take him seriously, time for him to be treated with the respect that his tremendous talent deserves.