Confession| Who Inspires Me + Paying It Forward

by West Parsons on February 2, 2014 · 4 comments

in my hair

myliek motivation

Some of you may be aware that this blog is not a full-time gig for me. I blog (mostly about hair) because it’s my hobby and this also happens to be a creative outlet. My family and friends will tell you long before the going natural phenomenon came about, I spent entire weekends braiding and twisting my hair into intricate styles — Friday through Sunday — yes! The birth of this blog was a seemingly natural progression of where much of my time was already invested.

Outside of my blog I am a speech-language pathologist (SLP). What’s that? Simply put, I diagnose and treat communication disorders in children and adults. Being brutally honest, I selected this major purely for the financial benefits. I found out early on in my studies that it was possible for all of my student loans to go POOF and be paid by the government after working a handful of years in certain settings, while still making a decent living. That meant, not too long after graduating, I would be DEBT-FREE! After that, I figured, having a Master’s degree, I could venture into a profession that I actually enjoyed and leave this speech stuff behind.

As of today, I have no debt and surprisingly enough, I LOVE being an SLP! The profession I originally thought would be my stepping stone is what I’ve developed a hankering for.  Go figure!  If you’re interested check out 10 Awesome Reasons To Be A Speech Pathologist


In fact, I’ve taken a leap of faith and started my own therapy practice. It is probably one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.  Yet, I’m finding that a divine being (I call him God) is placing many instrumental people in my path, who are encouraging and motivating me to continue to pursue this work, which involves great risk — but here’s what I know — without risk there is no reward.

One of those motivators happens to be Myleik Teele, friend in my head and creator of curlBOX.  I stumbled upon her name while perusing the hair forums. I won’t say the comments were positive, but often, when we don’t understand or are unaware of someone’s story or objective, they can be easily misunderstood and mislabeled.

Though not a subscriber of curlBOX, I’ve been following Myliek on social media for the last year and I’ve come to realize she is quite motivational and her story is very inspiring. Might I add, her transparency is a breath of fresh air!

She took an idea and made it a name recognized amongst everyone in this niche community of ours. Judging by her social media, she lives and breathes curlBOX (when not on a fab vacay), yet she still finds moments to inspire and encourage others to be their best selves via Instagram, Podcasts, Twitter, and mentoring.

Then, as a student and now entrepreneur, I’ve realized how instrumental mentorship is to growth. Today, I pay it forward by sharing my knowledge and being a resource to my mentees as they encounter the pitfalls and growing pains while becoming great — as we all become greater!

Because a great mentor can make all the difference, Coca-Cola has teamed up with Steve Harvey to give two young people the apprenticeship experience of a lifetime.  Visit to nominate an aspiring youth and help pay it forward to the next generation.   In addition, each winning youth gets a $5,000 scholarship to assist with his or her pursuit of higher education.

Join Steve Harvey’s Twitter Chat on Feb 6 HERE!

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by the Coca-Cola Company via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of the Coca-Cola Company.



tbaby February 2, 2014 at 7:32 pm

You completing this particular blog on this particular day is God sent to me! You have no idea! This blog was meant for me, and other people I’m sure, but let me tell you it was meant for me on this day. Literally this weekend I came to realize a certain characteristic of myself and my Pastor confirmed it today and you make 3 confirmations! I’m living scared. I’m probably too old for this scholarship but I’ll take heed to your encouraging words! thanks so much.

Well wishes on all your endeavors. I soooo enjoy your blog!

westNDNbeauty February 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm

He works so mysteriously, doesn’t He? Thanks so much for stopping by! You’re words encourage me as well 🙂

stacy February 13, 2014 at 2:43 pm

would love some more info on paying it forward.

westNDNbeauty February 13, 2014 at 4:39 pm

Hi Stacy, The call-to-action of the post was for my readers to pay it forward by nominating a youth in their community to win mentorship by Steve Harvey. Consider that as a means to pay it forward.