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Why Zayn Malik Leaving 1D Was a Choice of Strength

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I made a fanbook for One Direction in 2012. It was given to the boys during soundcheck, and Harry Styles thanked me for it. In the fanbook, I wrote letters for each of the boys; I still have the letters now. In my letter to Zayn Malik, I wrote, "One thing I've always been wanting to ask you: How do you stay so strong while you work so hard?"

And that's the thing. I've always seem him as so strong. I always worry about the other boys: Louis always gets hate, Niall's knee scares me, I go into automatic mom mode whenever Harry is sick, and Liam is just the sensitive little pup trying to hold the band together. But there have only been four times when I cried tears of worry for Zayn:
  1. When he had a family member pass away and had to leave the Big Time Rush tour
  2. The first time he was accused of cheating on Perrie, and he had to take a 24-hour trip to see her
  3. The last known Zerrie rumors, when, initially, he just had to take a break from the tour
  4. When he had to announce his exit from the band

But do you know what those first three have in common? Yes, he left, but he held himself together. He stood strong. And he always made it back better. It's the fourth item on this list that made me realize even the strong have to stand down at times, and that's what makes them even stronger.

Zayn was so brave in his choice of leaving the group. He didn't just throw his hands up, and say, "I quit." He took the time to think it through. He took the time to be brave about it. And he made the choice that would make him stronger.

I really miss Zayn as a part of One Direction. So much so that I haven't slept or eaten properly in four days. But now I know that I need to be strong for Zayn because we weren't strong enough for him before.

I love my Bradford Badboi...He SMASHED it.
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