So I think just about everyone and their mom heard that the shy, quiet Zayn Malik decided to leave One Direction. It officially happened yesterday, but I saw it coming for some time now. Early last year, he was saying that he and his fiancee, Perrie didn’t get to spend much time together. That’s the first clue. Never mind the fact that I think 20 is way too young to get engaged; at least I wasn’t ready at that age. But I think that’s where it started.
One day, a neighbor girl of mine, who I took in as my little sister, messaged me and was upset because she thought he would leave. I told her that he was still in a contract for a couple more albums. He won’t leave yet. But then it happened. I didn’t want to accept that he was withdrawing.
Why do I, a 26-year-old woman, even care? Well, I grew up listening to ‘N Sync and Backstreet Boys, so I can understand where younger women and teenage girls lose their minds over a group of cute guys who sing. In 2012, I was still resisting the relevance of 1D, but somewhere along the line, they caught me like a helpless fish with that strong hook of theirs when I watched the video to “Little Things.” Maybe it was because it seemed organic (which was a nice break from the synthetically manufactured music trend of the early-2000’s); maybe it was how much closer to my age the 1D guys are than the ones in ‘N Sync and BSB; or perhaps it was just their looks and how much fun they were having while shooting. Whatever it was, I was helplessly hooked. I raced home from my big girl office job and told my little sister about my new love and how I fancied the one with the big, curly hair. Aptly named “Harry.”
I’ve come to recognize as an adult, the emotional experience that music is, especially for women. Especially when it concerns cute guys who sing through your headphones and into your heart. I’m not ashamed of it. I even have a One Direction dry erase board, a mini calendar, their hardcover book, stickers in my day planner, and a bracelet. OK so some of those were gifts, but still. It’s OK to be 26 and loving those 5 guys (who were in middle school when I graduated high school); who steal the hearts of all young girls, no matter their age (my mom loves “Little Things”).
Zayn hasn’t fallen off the planet, but he did leave. It’s not easy to take, but it is what’s best for him. It’s natural to grieve after any kind of loss, so grieve, even if in silence. You’re not alone. This grown woman feels it too. 🙂