A Different Direction


We have been in crisis mode in the Bernardo household.

Zayn Malik has left One Direction, the biggest boy band in the history of all boy bands.

Officially announced a week ago today, I first got word of the news via a mid-morning frantic text from the First Born.

‘MOM,’ she said.

‘I’M GONNA CRY,’ she said.


After taking a deep cleansing breath and blinking away tears that were threatening my own eyes (because, let’s face it, after these past few years of having a Directioner in the family, four albums and four concerts later, I have become a 1D fan myself and yes, Zayn was my favorite. Go ahead and judge) I told my devastated daughter that everything was going to be just fine. If I could survive Roger leaving Duran Duran and Bobby leaving New Edition way back when, she’d be able to get through this crisis. It would take some getting used to but I know my daughter would eventually get used to the post-Zayn era of One Direction.

My words were falling on deaf ears though. There was no convincing her that leaving the group was probably the best thing Zayn could do for himself considering the stress he was apparently under from being on the road and in the limelight for so long. We’re talking since 2011. Three hundred tour dates and seventy-five tracks later, the poor guy finally reached his limit.

Later in the evening of that sad Wednesday, the First Born reached the peak of her devastation. Maternal instinct told me to take her into my arms and stop her tears from falling but the fangirl in me knew the best thing to do was to let her cry it out. I did remain close and attempted to guide her through it, reminding her that One Direction wasn’t going anywhere and they still needed her support. And as far as Zayn goes, well, we haven’t heard the last of him yet.

Despite my attempt at reassurance, it became evident that there was no consoling the inconsolable. I knew I had to let nature take its course and allow my first born to grieve. I shuddered at the thought of how things would have been had it been Harry Styles who left the group. Harry Styles, king of all kings, the messiah of One Direction in my daughter’s eyes. If he was the one who left all hell would have broken loose. It would not have been a pretty sight.  I was just glad she didn’t resort to cutting as many other 1D diehards were doing to which I say, really? Loving a band and its members is one thing but seriously, love yourself first and foremost.

So one full week since the announcement and First Born is still sad about Zayn-less One Direction, still isn’t ready to listen to any of their songs. I secretly was giving her exactly a week to grieve then I was going to get all tough love on her and force her to turn the page and move on. I’ve since decided that this wasn’t the way to go and that I just needed to continue to let time heal this wound inflicted by the Bradford Bad Boy himself. Knowing that my kid has a good head on her shoulders which does contain common sense, I’m good with letting her deal with this in the way she’s sees fit. I’m confident that she will eventually get past the sadness and enter into acceptance. And I can bet that one day in the future, as she’s seated at some concert venue waiting for the One Direction Reunion Tour with all 5 original members to start, she’ll look back at this time and have a good laugh.

In the meantime, Godspeed Zayn Malik!

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I’m a happiness-seeker and a self-improvement junkie who admits to sometimes indulging in a bit of navel-gazing but also engages in behavior motivated purely by altruism. Follow along with me and together we’ll find your path to happy one smile at a time.

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