It's Wise Women Wednesday, each week I interview a woman that I believe is inspiring, living abundantly and following her passions. These are all women who live a life of abundance and bring creativity into the world.
Q. Who are you? What is your background?
A. I’m Tahe Zalal and I’m originally from Raleigh but I have lived in Greensboro since 1993 when I came to study at UNCG.
Q. What is your work?
A. I am the Campus Activation Strategist at Revolution Mill.
Q. What is one project you are excited to be working on right now?
A. I have so many work projects! The one I’m really excited about is Mill Day which is a celebration of Revolution Mill and Greensboro’s textile heritage. It will take place on September 24th. My favorite part about it is that we will have a NC apparel makers market.
Q. What is one thing you've done recently that's scared you and took courage, but you're glad you did?
A. I guess I could say taking this job! I was a paper conservator for 17 years and thought I would stay in that field for the rest of my life but I got laid off last year. I didn’t want to go into private practice and moving to find another job wasn’t an option. I realized I had no other choice but to change careers entirely. In my volunteer life I helped plan events for the Weatherspoon Art Museum and for various charities. It was something that came naturally to me. Having years of experience doing that plus my connections to local businesses got me the job at Revolution Mill.
Q. What is the work you most want to be doing and are you doing it? If not why not what's stopping you?
A. I’m doing it! I get to put on events that I conceived which is so fantastic. Anything is possible here. I will say the things I miss about my last job was traveling and seeing amazing and rare artifacts. I got paid to visit museums and special collections libraries which was a dream but the trade off with this job is having the freedom to create events that will be one more thing to bring Revolution Mill back to life. I’m so excited to be part of the transformation.
Q. What would you tell your high school or college self?
A. Oh my gosh, where do I start? First, take your education seriously but then my parents told me that and I didn’t listen to them so why would I listen to me? I would have said to stop worrying about boys, take risks, be more confident, travel, and don’t accrue credit card debt unless it was for travel! It wasn’t until my 25th birthday that I bought a plane ticket to NYC and flew by myself. It was so easy! I don’t know why I hadn’t done it sooner.
Q. What's one piece of advice or motto you love and use in your daily life that you would like to share with my sweet readers?
A. I am sad to see Americans complain as much as they do about this country. I am the daughter, granddaughter and niece of immigrants. My grandma, aunts and uncles escaped Afghanistan, their beloved country, in the early 1980’s during the Soviet invasion. They risked so much and gave up everything to flee to a place that was utterly foreign to them. I remember being woken up in the middle of the night when I was six or so to drive to the airport to get them and complaining to my dad about being forced to leave my cozy bed. It didn’t dawn on me until I was well into adulthood what all they gave up and what I gained having them here. I will always be grateful for being American and having the opportunities that so many, especially women and girls, don’t have elsewhere. We are so lucky.
Q. What keeps you creating when you don't feel like it?
A. Well, for one I don’t want to disappoint my team at Revolution Mill or the folks who come out to events which is what keeps that fire lit! But really, walking the halls of the Mill. It’s huge and there is so much history here. Every time I walk through I see something new. The place itself is so inspiring.
Q. Anything else you'd like to share?
A. I love good food. I love shows about food and reading about food, and eating food, of course, but I don’t cook very often. I get in the kitchen and panic so we usually end up ordering pizza or going out to eat.
Q. What's your favorite yoga pose?
A. Corpse pose. I know that sounds silly but as the last pose it gives me a chance to become centered and go down my mental checklist. I don’t do yoga as often as I should but having those moments at the end is surprisingly reenergizing.
Q. How do you live a life of abundance?
A. I try to explore and learn as much as I can. I hope that my curiosity rubs off on my son Archer!