Ain’t nothing like it, folks.
A shimmy of the hips with each step. The feeling of your heel as it strikes the unforgiving stone. Clik-clak, clik-clak. A cavernous, echoing sound in the marble hallways. Feeling not just the weight of your own steps, but the steps of those who’ve walked these halls a lot longer than you have.
Nothing quite so powerful as the sound of high heels down a marble Senate building hallway. #IFAdvocacy
— Keiko Zoll (@KeikoZoll) May 6, 2014
Clik-clak, clik-clak. The sound of your own purpose reverberating around you. Clik-clak, clik-clak.
Damn it feels good to be back on Capitol Hill.
# # #
I’m here in Washington D.C. for RESOLVE’s annual Advocacy Day. One day a year, advocates flock to DC to meet with their legislators to discuss issues important to the infertility community. This year, Advocacy Day is officially the largest it’s ever been. Every single state in the United States is represented either by an in-person advocate or a hand-delivered letter. There are 150 advocates here in town to meet with legislators and staffers, here to carry their own stories and the stories of others with them.We tell our #infertility stories on Capitol Hill because our stories matter.
If we don’t speak up for ourselves, who will?
# # #
Advocacy Day is very important to me. Not just because I might have the chance to run into legislators with near celebrity status. Not because I lay it all out there on the table for my legislators.
Advocacy Day and everything that it stands for are important to me because I truly believe that my healing process in the wake of my infertility diagnosis was expedited by my involvement in trying to make a difference. I may not be able to create babies but I’ll be damned if I don’t do my part to create positive, lasting change.
I might be an idealist, but I really do believe that change happens here on Capitol Hill. And I believe in doing my part, too.
Even now, as someone who’s resolved their infertility – but not cured of it, not forgotten it, not free from it by any stretch of the imagination – there’s healing to be found in advocating for this community. Every time I help give strength to someone else’s voice, someone else’s story: it validates my own journey.
I am deeply honored to carry the stories of six women with me tomorrow, in the form of letters to their elected officials. I got very emotional reading through them. I’m not saddened by their stories, which, let me be clear – they are stories filled with pain and anguish. I got emotional because I suddenly didn’t feel worthy enough to carry these stories. I felt like a really, really small fish all of a sudden, swimming in much bigger, tougher oceans that are Capitol Hill politics.
And then I remembered why I’m here in the first place.We tell our #infertility stories on Capitol Hill because our stories matter.
Tomorrow it’s going to be jumpin’ all day long. Follow all the action on Twitter at #IFAdvocacy. If you’re looking for live updates from me throughout the day (and there will be many), make sure you’re following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’ll post a recap of the day this Thursday or Friday.
Looking to get involved?
- Join the Thunderclap on social media. (Deadline: 10am today, May 7th)
- Write to your legislators.
- Spread the word.
We are mighty when we come out in force.
# # #
Clik-clak, clik-clak, clik-clak.
Stops, turns. Faces camera. Begin music: theme to “House of Cards” or “West Wing” – take your pick.
The Advocate smiles a knowing smile.
“Look out Washington… here I come.”