Rachel Paige
March 27, 2015 10:03 am

The pop music world was rocked — no pun intended — this week when Zayn Malik announced that he was leaving One Direction. He actually left the band’s On the Run Tour last week, citing “stress,” and since then, we’ve been pretty stressed, too. Putting aside our feelings, emotions, and 1D heartache, Zayn is the real focus here — as total fangirls, we truly only want the best for him. Now, he’s finally broken his silence about just why he departed the biggest boy band in the world, and we couldn’t be more proud of him. So why’s he leaving? Because he needs to be true to himself. Hard to argue with those motives.

Zayn talked to The Sun, and admitted that being part of 1D just didn’t feel right. “I feel like I’ve let the fans down, but I can’t do this anymore. It’s not that I’ve turned my back on them or anything, it’s just that I just can’t do that anymore because it’s not the real me.” Zayn went on to say that he was shocked by the reaction his departure created, but, “at the same time I’ve never felt more in control in my life. And I feel like I’m doing what’s right – right by myself and right by the boys, so I feel good.”

Listen, Zayn, you do you. The other 1D guys — Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne — totally get his need to leave, and there are no hard feelings. “My band has been really supportive. They’ve been cool about it,” he said. “And they understand that, you know, it’s not real to me anymore.” So we’ve gotta support it too!

Now, it’s time for Zayn to focus on being a normal 22 year old, and that includes figuring out who he really is — which is a quest we are in 110% support of. 1D has been on a non-stop world domination tour since they came out of the X Factor in 2010, so if he needs some time to rest and get his thoughts together, he can take all the time in the world. Bottom line is, we love you, Zayn, and if you’re now happy, we’re now happy, too. It can’t be easy to leave the biggest boy band in the world, and we totally support him for being courageous and true to himself. There are life lessons to be learned there.

Also this doesn’t mean that he won’t reunite with 1D ever again. I mean, Geri went back to the Spice Girls. Kevin went back to Backstreet Boys. Even Michelle and Kelly joined Beyoncé at the Super Bowl. Have hope, you guys. And let’s leave Zayn in peace to be that normal 22-year-old guy he needs to be.

Images via here and here.

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