Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Support Matters - Guest Post by Chardonnay Merlot

It was a Saturday night out on the dance floor. Me with a big smile on my face. You can never get too much of the feeling of a fun night out, surrounded by friends, all while working the perfect outfit.

The added bonus? For me, it was at the place where my journey truly began.

On that night two years before,-- IChardonnay Merlot, stepped out into the world for the first time.

I was alone, nervous, scared. I wasn't sure I was gonna go through with it.

My Heartbeat keeping time with the click-clack of heels on a parking lot.

Earlier that day, I was in a dressing room at a small shop maybe an hour away.

Looking in a mirror at me.

It was overload seeing myself in a way I'd always wanted to but never felt safe in doing.

And then I was told, "You really should consider going out tonight. There's nothing gained by hiding who you are."

I ended up going to a club that night. Nervous to the point of nausea.

"Don't be nervous honey, be out and be proud."

I met others like me that night.

A couple of weeks later, I was late to my first meeting with my support group and the group leader gave me the 'Don Rickles' treatment for being quite late, and then embraced me... as did the whole community.

The common denominator: Someone reached out.

I'm grateful for so many who have, mainly in a lot of small ways, from besties who call and Facebook me just to ask "how ya doin?" to those who have shared their experience and wisdom with me from the beginning.

Those first steps were tentative and nervous. Looking back I wonder how ever got the heart to take them.

It was because somebody took one second to tell me, "Live it. Learn it. Own it."

Because somebody took one second to show me how to use a foundation brush more efficiently.

Because someone spent an evening sharing their journey, their story, and was patient with me.

Because a group of people invited me in with open arms.

Because a group of people saw a shy scared person trying to find answers and they took me in.

Thanks to that, I've found a new peace, a new strength and have expanded my circle because of it. The journey feels a little less arduous and a lot less lonely, because from the beginning so many, in big ways and small, sent the most important message: "You are not alone."

 Support Matters

-Chardonnay Merlot

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