Member Spotlights are supposed to shed new light on a member for the author and the audience, right? Well, I’ve known Jahily since I was a Citizen in Tar Valon, and I’ve been residing in her Pocket since I was a novice! She’s been the Editor of the Tar Valon Times since April 2, so you know it’s not an April Fool’s joke. She aspired to the Gray Ajah on June 12, along with her first-brother, Bryden von Brazilius, another staff member of the Tar Valon Times!
When I was just starting out here, she was encouraging and kind, and now that I’m serving as her first mate, she’s still that awesome person. I sat down with her and asked her some questions, and here is what she shared with me:
Leala: Tell us a little about yourself in real life (if comfortable sharing) – where you live, what you do, family/partner/pets/etc.? Photos you’d like to share?
Jahily: I am a native of the state of Texas, and currently live in the Central part of the state. My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary back in June; and we are the proud parents of one teenage son, and one lab/shepherd fur child.
I work in the non-profit world, in the area of office management, logistics/operations/event planning, team and volunteer coordination, etc. I love being in roles where I can support others, and meet people’s needs.
Leala: Do you have any other hobbies/interests other than WoT? Share a “fun fact” about yourself.
Jahily: My main hobbies currently involve my son’s activities. He is a Boy Scout, and has been playing baseball for several years.
Fun fact – I did pick up a new hobby over the past year, thanks to nudging from a certain first-brother — role-playing games. For some reason it’s not something I ever got into, but Brynden started a D&D campaign last fall and encouraged me to try. Turns out, I really enjoy it!
Leala: What brought you to TarValon.net? What made you want to stay and get more involved?
Jahily: When my son was 3-4 years old, I was out of work for a period of about a year. I loved having the mom time with him at that age! I also caught up on a lot of reading. A friend recommended WoT so I started reading. And reading.
I was a few books into the series, and had questions. Plus I wanted to see if there was any sort of online discussion group. Enter TarValon.Net. I did find book discussion, and a whole lot more!
I started getting to know people slowly – I’m one of those people who struggle with just jumping right into conversation threads on the boards. And then, I tried a Mafia game, and loved it. I got a chance to know people in a fun setting. Then I joined the Tower, started writing for the TVT, made some great friends, had the opportunity to serve in several roles onsite that I really enjoyed.
Leala: How did you decide Gray Ajah was right for you? (what do you like about it, what makes you Gray? Or, like others on the boards have said, did the Gray Ajah choose you instead?)
Jahily: Gray really resonates with me, because of who I am and how I think, feel, and process. I am a peacemaker, I try to see things from all sides and perspectives. I am a caretaker – lending support with a “listening ear” or shoulder to cry on. (Or vent to!) I am fiercely loyal and protective of my family, my friends – including my “friends-like-family.”
My break as a Resident Citizen really helped me take a step back to figure out what I was looking for in a group. Spending time in Gray made it all click, and I knew it was home.
Leala: What led you to apply for the Editor of the Tar Valon Times? What are your goals for your tenure? What are some fun stories you can share about your tenure so far?
Jahily: Because Aleita is an amazing boss!!
Part of my university degree is in journalism, which is what drew me to do some staff writing for the TVT initially. The Assistant Editor position came up right as I was transitioning out of the Mayor’s office. Knowing I would have a great boss and team, made that decision easy. When Aleita was promoted to Director, the move to Editor was a natural step. And I am thankful that Leala came off of her leave when she did, and decided to take the Assistant position!
Leala: Dawww, I am too! I’m having a blast!
Jahily: While I did not come up with the concept, running the Takeovers has seriously been one of my favorite things to do. Seeing what our different groups come up with as content to represent them — either as a group, or highlighting a talent of one of their members — has been so interesting! I said this in my Takeover article for Accepted/Soldiers that it has been a funny coincidence that I have hit three months personally in this series. (Aleita published the schedule almost a year ago.)
Really though, what makes the TVT great is the creativity of the team. Each person is so talented, and work hard every month — whether reviews of existing media, or original content — it’s all just SO good! I am in awe of them, and happy to fix their commas and punctuation. If you’re not reading our TarValon.Net blog, you should!
Leala: It really is a great part of TarValon.Net! Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers? (About you personally; you on-site; the Gray Ajah – individually or as a group; about the Tower; etc.)
Jahily: Douglas Adams is a long-time favorite author of mine. I recently ran back across this quote, which I think sums up a lot of things pretty well: “I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Leala: I can definitely relate to that quote. Speaking of, I sadly couldn’t visit you in Texas before I moved away from Louisiana. But, Texas is a big state! Could you share a few facts about the city where you live? (Obviously, you don’t have to share identifying information, if you don’t feel comfortable with it.)
Leala: I have a ridiculous amount of state pride as a Texan – 8th generation native on my dad’s side. Mostly in fun, but I really do love it. Texas is so diverse, from the flat, tumbleweed areas west where I grew up, to the beautiful Hill Country where I live now. We have mountains, beaches, big cities, and small towns.
Hmm, interesting fact – the state capitol building in Austin is taller than the US capitol building. One of my first jobs after college was working at the capitol as a legislative aide to a state representative during an active session. Now THAT was interesting!
Leala: I’m open about being a fan of the Aiel, and I know that you identify with the Tuatha’an. What about them is special to you?
Jahily: I love music and singing, so the Tinkers were one of the groups I was drawn to when I read the series. When I demoted, I decided as part of my “reset and regroup” time that I wanted to change things up, find something that was more “me.” The avatar I use now is titled The Way of the Leaf – Tinker.
Leala: That’s a wonderful sentiment. Thank you for this interview, and thank you for being an amazing boss too! And you’re not a bad Pocket Landlord either.