Yesterday, Zayn Malik said goodbye to One Direction.
I cried. A lot. Hell, I’m still crying today. I knew I loved this band, but I didn’t know just how much until now. In fandom, we jokingly call the boys our sons since we feel super protective over them, and yesterday was no different. I felt like a part of my heart broke hearing that he decided to leave.
This fandom has been a part of my life for 3 years now. I spend a lot of time talking about them on twitter and with friends, posting about them here and on my personal tumblr, and investing my money into them as a group.
When you’ve held onto something so tightly for that long, seeing it crack, only to break is devastating. Unlike something like Twilight or Harry Potter, both of which had natural endings, ours was sudden and unexpected.
Fandom is never easy, especially when you put a large group of opinionated people on the internet. But yesterday, we were a united front. While some made fun of us for being upset over a boyband, we stood up for our valid feelings and emotions. Everyone should have something they love enough to show serious emotion over. Don’t ever let anyone give you crap for how you feel.
Originally, Zayn stepped away from the band a week ago citing stress, but it was only supposed to be a temporary leave. Many media outlets praised him for being vocal and strong enough to say that he was in over his head and needed a break. Billboard said him taking time now, would secure a future for the band. They were unfortunately wrong.
As someone who suffers from anxiety and depression, I have to know my limits. I would never blame Zayn for recognizing his own, and standing up for his own health and peace of mind.
This is not new in music. The Beatles broke up, The Rolling Stones broke up, NSYNC broke up, and the list goes on and on. It doesn’t make it hurt any less knowing that the boys could get back together because right now they’re not, and that is like a kick to the gut.
I’m devastated that I won’t get to hear his incredible vocal ability with Harry, Liam, Niall, and Louis. But, I know that with time, maybe Zayn will come back to us, back to the band in some way.
I support him and the other boys in whatever they choose, so long as they’re happy. All you want for someone you’re a fan of is to love what they’re doing. I wish Zayn the best of luck with his future. I thank him for being a part of something that has brought me so many wonderful people, and changing my life in unbelievable ways. I hope he never stops singing because his voice is a gift to the world. And I hope he finds the part of himself he lost, and becomes whole again.
Until then, I raise my glass to the boy almighty.