Fans of Real Housewives of Atlanta are in for a serious blow: NeNe Leakes, the show's most GIF-able cast member and arguably its most popular, is officially parting ways with Housewives after seven seasons.

NeNe, who's been with the show since its first season, spoke with PEOPLE about her decision to leave, saying it wasn't an easy one to make. She said, "This was definitely a hard decision for me. Me and my husband [Gregg Leakes] have been going back and forth on it for weeks now. But my contract is up and I just think this is the right time. This is my opportunity to spread my wings and do different things."

Thankfully, "new things" include staying in the public eye. She reportedly has another television show in the works: "I'm actually going to be doing a new primetime television show with a big legend. All of my fans will get to see me be really happy, witty and funny and tell all of those one liners that I always have said on Housewives."

She says she's excited to move on from the show and the drama that came with it. She said, "I feel a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders...There were times when I was a target. I won't miss the negativity."

And while fans will undoubtedly be sad to see her go, she's not necessarily gone for good. She said, "I'm not saying I'm gone forever. I'll probably pop up and play with those girls every now and then."

The network also issued a statement about her departure, posted on its website that says, "We wish NeNe well after seven memorable seasons of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. We will miss her bloop bloop’s and her great one liners. We look forward to the eighth season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta in the Fall.”