Use your Adversity to Inspire you

Today I want to discuss with you about Adversity. Adversity is defined as difficulties or misfortune. Some people come from perfect homes with a white picket fence, 2 dogs, dinner on the table every day at 6:00, some come from divorced homes who only have one parent, some people’s moms or dads walked out on them when they were little because maybe they weren’t ready for kids and felt there was no other way, then just felt too ashamed to ever try to make it up and reconcile.

If you’re like me you might have come from a single-family household. My mom raised me and my older brother after my dad passed away when I was 7 years old in Cape town south Africa. I’m not going to lie, it was tough growing up and not having a father. I would see my friends with their father’s and they would take them to sports games and play baseball together and do all the dad things that I never had. I would get invited from time to time to baseball games with my friend’s dads and thought wow this guy’s dad is so cool. I still remember when my dad would take me to Steelers, Pirates and Penguins games when I was really little. I remember feeling really lost and empty a lot as a kid after he passed, I would go on to smoke a lot of weed as a teenager and never listen to what my mom would say, hang out with the wrong crowd and make stupid mistakes. I was quite rebellious. But one thing I did realize young, was that I always had a conscious and I always knew when I was doing something wrong. I did some things I’m not proud of when I was younger, I have to be honest. The mistakes and lapses of good judgement I made, really taught me the most.

I remember when I was 15 years old and went to the mall in Coral Springs, FL with my friend Jeremy. I had lived in Coral springs briefly before and then my family moved to Boca Raton FL later. I had come down to visit Jeremy for the weekend. So, we were shopping for some clothes at Bloomingdales and this was the era when Mecca, Ecko, Karl Kani, & Enyce brands, were really popular. I didn’t come from a super-rich household, my mom had enough money for us to live in a nice place growing up but we didn’t have extra money to spend on $80 t-shirts. I had an older brother and he influenced me in a lot of things. I would basically copy everything he did because I idolized him growing up. Although we fought a lot, I still looked up to his every move. So, he used to change the tags on the clothes and get it for a cheaper price. He would take a clearance tag for say $17.99 and put it on a pair of jeans that were $50. As silly as it sounds, this actually worked and nobody would really check in most cases. So that was kind of our little hustle, I was this young teenager, I knew no better and my mentality was, hey, these huge corporations like Ross and marshalls are making enough money for me to get a little bit of a break and my brother does it, so why not?

So back to the story, so Jeremy and I were in Bloomingdales, shopping and I saw this Mecca shirt I wanted. It was so ugly when I look back. It was just a short sleeve, button up flannel shirt with some colors, and Mecca embroidered on the pocket, really nothing that special. It was like $80 or something. I had around $35 on me that day. So, I took the tag off the shirt and swapped it for a shirt that was $29.99. So, what I decided to do was take the shirt and go pay in a different department that would have no idea how much the shirt really cost. I took the shirt and went downstairs to the watch department or perfume department I don’t remember exactly, it was just a random area I thought, they won’t know how much the shirt is.Keep in mind, I had done this before and it worked no problem so I thought nothing of it.

I went to the lady at the counter and I said, I want to buy this shirt, she said ok I can help you out. She goes to ring the shirt up and then she says the price isn’t right you will need to go back to the department where you got it from and pay there. I thought, oh no how could this be? So, I said, “ok, I will go back.”

After that I really don’t know what I was thinking inside my head when I look back. I saw the exit door about 150 Feet away from me and it lead outside. I proceeded to look around at some other things making my way toward the exit, pretending I was shopping for something else. I remember I had bought something else earlier from another store and was holding a plastic bag. I then decided to just put the shirt in the bag and Jeremy and I walked out of the store. The alarm didn’t ring or anything. I thought hey i m going to get away with this!

Literally 2-5 seconds after we walked out a big man grabbed my shoulder and said, come with me. I had been caught. I remember as soon as I walked out the guy grabbed me and I didn’t have time to do anything or run. My heart dropped. Keep in mind I was 15 years old. I was a boy.

So, he takes me upstairs to this secret room with all these TV monitors, with another guy watching as well. He tells me, I was watching you the whole time. I knew what you were going to do, before you did it. He basically breaks the game down, and says, all these stores have this same setup and are watching, so be a bit smarter if you want to steal something.

Long story short he couldn’t just release me since I didn’t live in Coral Springs. He had to send me to a Juvenile detention center for holding where my mom had to come pick me up.

So, I got sent to this holding center with a bunch of other kids and they called my mom and told her what happened. Keep in mind Coral springs is about 1 and a half hours away from Boca Raton so my mom had to drive and pick me up at 9PM on a Sunday night. She was pissed to say the least.

So as far as my punishment went with the State of FL, they gave me 150 hours of community service. I had to take a bus to Deerfield beach every weekend because my mom refused to drive me. I had to wash and wax cop cars on Saturday and Sundays for about 3 months straight at the police station. The cops were tough on me, they would nitpick me on the washes and say it’s not clean enough. Needless to say, I hung up my crime career after that happened.

We all make mistakes and nobody is perfect. One of my favorite quotes that I live by, “to err is human to forgive is divine.” When I look back at that shoplifting scenario, it was all a bad judgement and bad decision from the get go. I knew it was wrong, but I did it because I wanted that shirt and I thought I didn’t have another way when the lady at the counter figured out the scam I was running. Instead of asking Jeremy for a loan, or calling my mom, or just choosing another shirt similar, that wasn’t a Mecca shirt but still a nice new shirt within my budget, I made the wrong choice and a choice that I knew was wrong when my conscious was speaking to me. It was because I didn’t have someone to teach me that, to teach me that having a Mecca shirt or name brand shirt didn’t mean shit. You don’t need a name brand shirt to be cool. You are cool on the inside and you are smart. My habits, my values were all out of sync, but I was only 15. I didn’t have a lot of love at home and the love my mom tried to give me I would shun away because inside I didn’t feel good about my life, my upbringing and the fact I didn’t have a father. I felt like a black sheep in the world and I had to learn things from making my own mistakes and from people around me.

They say the best stories come from people with the hardest lives. I believe this as well because it’s the pain that you endure that makes you a stronger person and makes you more optimistic to take risks. I wasn’t always this positive and happy, to be honest. We all fall down and we all are going to fail, but it’s how fast we get up once we fall down that makes or breaks us. Take your adversity and use it as inspiration to be great. Write down one thing you hate about yourself or your life and realize that it can be used to inspire you. Take the hate you get from people and smile, turn it around and know that that is confirmation you are shining your light. Don’t be scared to stand out, to be great, to be grand, you were told your whole life, stay simple, stay off the radar, don’t stand out, but if you don’t stand out how can you make an impact? How can you influence anyone if you look and think the same as everyone else? People pay more attention to you when you make a statement. People listen to you more when you have some money, that’s the truth. People want to be more like you and want to learn from you. You are now in the top 1% and people want to know how can I get there too?

Know that you are someone special and that you are a gift to this world. It starts by knowing your worth and value. Knowing that you are unique and contribute something to society by just being you. Because there is only one YOU! There’s only one Marc illy, there’s only one of you. No matter what you think, if you’re an actor, a nurse, a doctor, engineer, a mother, or father, your DNA and genes are different than anyone else out there. Even if you have a similar career or dream than others. You are you! Everyone is an individual with a different upbringing and story to tell. Whether you tell your story to the world or just at dinner parties, it still makes you who you are.

You have the power to overcome obstacles and objections. I try to help other people and to share my life experiences with the world so you can possibly better your life. Because if your mind isn’t right, you aren’t ready to be successful. Success is a mindset first, and then it takes hard work, passion and devotion. You have to develop good habits, have disciple and practice appreciation. It is a collective process to be successful. To be vulnerable, I just told you a dark secret of mine, that I shoplifted when I was 15. I’m opening up to the world. I’m showing you I’m just a human like you who made mistakes and turned my life around into something better now. You need to open up so you can receive love and receive blessings.

The moral of the story is that through adversity and misfortunate we can turn the pain into inspiration and things that can push us to go further. A lot of my discipline and work ethic came from the fear of failure and the fear that I am not doing good enough. My drive comes from the desire to have abundance, to not have to worry about money and not have to think about stealing an $80 shirt. Now I have expensive shirts because I work hard and can afford it. Knowing that I didn’t have the white picket fence life growing up and that I didn’t have a father to be there for me, pushed me to become a good honest man that can provide for his family and be a good Dad one day. It’s not to prove to anybody else, it’s to prove to myself. To make my family proud, to be able to stand on my own two feet and use my capabilities and talents to propel me further every day. We need to grow first on the inside. After that, we can then focus to grow our business, grow our income and our finances. I can teach you how to be your own boss and how to work online as well. But you have to be strong you have to be ready for it! You must become mentally prepared. Otherwise you will continue going in a circle and repeat the same mistakes over and over again. Success doesn’t come to lazy people. It comes to diligent and persistent people who know that they can do it! Believe in yourself no matter where you come from and how much money you have right now! Every day is a new day and everything is possible!

I will leave you with this quote:

“The most beautiful people I’ve known are those who have known trials, have known struggles, have known loss, and have found their way out of the depths.” — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

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Taipei Taiwan

If you are an avid traveler and discover yourself in the beautiful city of Taipei, Taiwan, we want to share a couple of hidden gems that will allow you to experience the beauty of this city, like a local. Taipei is primarily known for its beautiful architecture, small bite sized snacks and foods, and of course, high rise city buildings that resemble the New York Skyline. However, this city has much more to offer than city views, high rise bars, and the hustle and bustle of Taiwan. We want to share what we think are some of the most beautiful sights, experiences, and areas to visit in Taipei. Let’s begin!

The Santorini of Taiwan – For The View

Santorini is known as one of the most beautiful areas in the world to visit. However, how would you like to enjoy a version of Santorini, with all of the flare and culture of Taiwan. We want to share the Santorini of Taiwan, also known as Jiu Fen Old Street. The views are not only spectacular, but you can grab delicious bites to eat while overlooking the sunset ocean below. Let hues of yellow, orange, and red immerse you alongside culture filled mountain streets filled with plenty of delicious bites. Try a delicious egg pudding the moment you step foot into Taipei city, refresh yourself with a cup of freshly brewed coffee, the Taipei way, or enjoy the sun with a Dorayaki Ice Cream.

Golden Waterfall Beauty – For The Natural Wonder

If you are more of a nature lover and want to escape the city life of Taipei, then you need to step foot in a one of a kind waterfall, known as the Golden Waterfall. This beautiful treasure is in an area of Taiwan that is primarily known for copper and gold mines. Although the mine is non-operational, an individual can still visit the waterfalls and gaze upon their beauty. Now, this golden waterfall is set against Mt Keelung and overlooks the gorgeous Yin Yang Sea, where all water from the waterfall eventually flows. With this in mind, an individual can enjoy a scenic walk through nature trails, hikes, and enjoy mountainous landscapes.

The Yin Yang Sea – For The Ocean Lover

If you have ever wanted to visit the Yin Yang Sea, then you are in for a treat in Taipei. This beautiful sea is known for its delightful hues of blues and yellows. This major contrast results from the mining of gold and copper from the mountain regions above, where water flows down into the ocean. In fact, it is a natural occurrence of a geological feature that is stationed nearby that contains trace amounts of iron pyrite. With this, an individual can enjoy one of the many small restaurants nearby or be amazed at a gorgeous sunset view from miles above while hiking the greenery of the mountain region nearby. In any case, the Yin Yang Sea is to not be missed when visiting the gorgeous city of Taipei.

Mt.Keelung

Well, now that we have talked about Mt Keelung, it is about time we introduce this beautiful mountain on our list today. In Mt. Keelung it has been mentioned that an individual will receive the illusion of a bird cage, King Kong, and a pregnant lady. The views from Mt. Keelung are beautiful. Not only do they exhibit the Yin Yang Sea below exquisitely, an individual can get a birds eye view of the mountain towns and small villages below. At 588m above sea level, this extinct volcano boasts a panoramic view. However, the beauty is truly awe-inspiring from the very top. Of course, the hike is about forty-five minutes, but it is completely unprecedented. With that in mind, bring water bottles, snacks, and towels because the humidity makes Florida a walk in the park.

Long Shan Temple – For The History Lover

If you visit Taipei and you want a truly cultural experience alongside a time-travel pass into the past, an individual needs to visit the Long Shan Temple. Although the temple has survived the modern era movement and has been stepped into the modern 21st century, individual can still get a clear understanding of what life was like bac in the day. In fact, an individual will be able to receive a clear glimpse of the daily life of Taiwanese locals and their religious customs. This temple was built in the 5th year of Qing Dynasty and has retained much of its beauty, culture, art, and aesthetic appeal. With walkways, temple, cultural classes, and even culture-rich meals, an individual can both practice mindfulness and study the history of the Taiwanese people in this beautiful temple.

Starbucks – For The Coffee Lover

So, what is so special about a Taipei Starbucks? This Starbucks is not just any Starbucks. This Starbucks is manned by around the clock security, you need a special pass to get in, and it is also in one of the tallest buildings in all over the world. In fact, this Starbucks is known as the highest Starbucks ever created. Now, to get there is somewhat of a challenge because it is not marketed nor on any map. This Starbucks is to the left of the Taipei 101 Mall. An individual here will see two huge glass doors with security guards. From here, you can turn left at the entrance and head to an ATM-like machine where an individual can purchase a secured Starbucks pass at Level 35. Phew, that is quiet a trip to try and visit a Starbucks! However, the view is beautiful, and you can overlook all of Taipei and more.

The Niagara Falls of Taiwan – For The Adrenaline Junkie

 

How can viewing a beautiful waterfall release adrenaline? Well, you have to pass by quiet a large suspension bridge to get there. The Shi Fen waterfall is known as one of the most magnificent sights of all of Taipei and an individual can visit any time, as long as they are not fearful of heights or suspension bridges. This is, in fact, the largest natural waterfall along the Pingxi Line, and although not quiet as large as Niagara Falls, it is still a beautiful sight to see. Now, what may intrigue an individual even more is that they can get a water, a juice, or a coffee at the Level 2 Café near the waterfall while enjoy the unobstructed views of the falls. To get there, take a train to Shi Fen Train Station and the signs will clearly point you to the waterfall.

Yang Ming Shan National Park – The Volcano Visit

When it comes to the Yang Ming Shan National Park, city dwellers will escape to this natural retreat to not only take in the picturesque beauty, but also soak in sulphuric baths and relax their senses. In fact, this national park is unlike any national park in the world. The park itself has hot springs, mountain views, areas to relax, natural trails, flower exhibits, and a volcano. Yes, we said, a volcano! However, if you are adventurous enough to visit this gorgeous place, then a five-hour trek through mountainous trails will lead you to Volcanic vent, also known as Xiao You Keng.

Visiting Taipei in Taiwan

Visiting this beautiful place is unlike any other city near the sea, this is one of the most historic, culturally rich, and pure authentic cities that an individual can visit. Travel like a local, visit a volcano, taste their cultural rich foods, take a trip to the past, and enjoy a sunset while balancing your yin and yang by the Yin Yang Sea. Visit Taipei today!

 


Hong Kong

Take a deep breath and get ready for what may be the most thrilling vacation spot in the world. In fact, this particular vacation-paradise for city lovers makes New York the most relaxing place on the Earth. We are talking about Hong Kong, a place where delicious dim sum meets New York City skyscrapers alongside a vast area of photographic scenery that is absolutely stunning. If you appreciate Asian architecture alongside western world amenities, Hong Kong is the place to visit. Therefore, we are eager to bring you the most thrilling, exciting, and sight-worthy places to visit if you happen to be in this bustling city. Let’s begin!

  1. Victoria Peak – For The View

If you are looking for picturesque views that are worthy of your favorite Instagram filter, then this is the place to be. Victoria Peak may be the most iconic neighborhood in all of Hong Kong. With stunning views of the city below, this is known as Hong Kong Island’s tallest point and wealthiest neighborhood. The streets are adorned with posh mansion and beautiful landscaping. However, travelers are here for the view. Far ahead an individual can catch a gorgeous glimpse of the stunning Hong Kong towers peaking through clouds. However, the most beautiful sight is the outlying islands to the south of Hong Kong, which welcome the beautiful Hong Kong sunset with a warm glimmer. This is the place to be to make your friends a bit jealous!

  1. Dragon’s Back – For The Hike

If you happen to enjoy an early hike, then this is the place for you to visit if you come to Hong Kong. Resembling a dragons back, individuals can visit the Collinson Crematorium in Chai Wan and enjoy a beautiful hike through the mountains to reach Dragons Back. Now, what makes this spectacular hike even more beautiful is the views to the right, left, and in front of you when enjoying the short walk. You will be filled with ocean views, reservoir views, and towards the end of the course, as you approach Shek O, individuals will be adorned with golf course views of the Shek O country Club alongside empty beaches. If lucky, you may get a glimpse of rare birds, paragliders, and individuals enjoying the sunny day ahead. This is the place to visit for the hiker of the family.

  1. Ozone – For The Luxurious View

If you happen to want a worthy view while being air conditioned and adorned with warm smiles and delicious drinks, then you have to visit Ozone. Ozone is known as the highest bar in the world, atop the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. This specialty bar has terrace seating, indoor seating, and unobstructed views of the Hong Kong skyline, mountains, beaches and more. Now, you can visit during the weekdays and enjoy a specialty drink. However, the best time to visit is on Sundays, where individuals can enjoy a free-flowing Dom Perignon while taking in the beauty of the skyline below.

  1. 10,000 Buddhas Monastery – For The Serenity

If you are seeking a more relaxing experience that will take your breath away, this is the place to visit while in Hong Kong. Not only will your breath be taken away by the beauty, but also by the hike. It is quiet a trek up hundreds of steps. However, it is gorgeous once you are at the top. Now, the most interesting and beautiful aspect of it is that an individual can take in the glare and welcome of over hundreds of Buddhas while on the walk. All of the Buddhas are adorned in Gold and at the top an individual can relax and enjoy the views, temples, and pavilions. What is even more calming, and relaxing is turtle pond and the gardens at the top, where an individual can sit and listen to the sounds of fountains, streams, and the nature surrounding their seclusion. If you want to escape the city life of Hong Kong, this is the most relaxing place to visit.

  1. Tai O Fishing Village – For The Authenticity

Individuals think that Hong Kong is a simple island city with plenty of hustle and bustle, and it is. However, Hong Kong is actually composed of hundreds of islands and one of these is the Lantau Island, where one of the most authentic villages is located, the Tai O Fishing Village. This unique village was once the start of Hong Kong and boasted a large fishing empire where locals enjoyed the fisherman’s way of life. However, now it is being moved into the western era with the addition of big businesses and skyscrapers. Individuals need to visit the Tai O Fishing Village is you want to understand a simpler way of life. You can walk through charming districts, take snapshots of stilt houses, and walk through a village that has stayed true to it’s lifestyle hundreds of years ago.

  1. The Star Ferry – For A Romantic Evening

For a romantic evening taking in the city skyline and stars above, individuals need to take a ride on the Star Ferry. For as little as .25 cents per seven-minute ride, individuals can enjoy one of the most authentic transport experiences of Hong Kong. The Star Ferry was in fact, a ferry that used to carry passengers from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon in the late 1888. Simple embark from Tsim Sha Tsui Pier in Kowloon and voyage to Wan Chai Pier. In the evening, you can enjoy a romantic sunset while taking in the breathtaking view and the calm water. Lastly, at 8pm Hong Kong has an evening light show that individuals can enjoy from the ferry.

  1. Man Mo Temple – To Make A Wish

As one of the most popular places of worship in Hong Kong, individuals can take in the earthy smells and beautiful sights of the Man Mo Temple. Built in 1847 by wealth Chinese business men, this temple is dedicated to honor the wielding God of Literature and the God of War. This temple now serves as a place to take in the local religious culture and show respects to the Chinese community. However, the true spirit of this space is held by the coil-incense, which give off an awe-inspiring aroma. Visitors can buy a red ribbon, attach a wish to the end of the coil via the ribbon, and once burned, the wish will float through the smoke to the Gods above. Located on Hollywood Road, the Man Mo Temple is one of the most beautiful places to visit when it comes to worship, prayer, serenity in all of Hong Kong.

Visit Hong Kong Today

If you happen to be visiting Hong Kong, these beautiful places and sights are worth every minute. Although Hong Kong makes New York appear like a beach in the Maldives, it can still be a relaxing and inspiring place to visit. Whether you are taking in the sights from the mountains above, shopping in one of their wealthiest malls, or taking a ride on the largest escalator, Hong Kong is on the bucket list, and these seven locations should be ‘must-visit’ to any individual. Indulge in some dim sum, show your respects to the Gods above, and shop like you are home. Enjoy Hong Kong!


One way ticket to Bali

Drag Race star Widow Von’Du steps away from social media following “fandom” hate
Gay Times 

“I hate doing this so much and I don’t wanna do this anymore!”

Drag Race season 12 competitor Widow Von’Du has announced she will be taking a break from social media.

In a Twitter post the Kansas City queen called out the “fandom” that has been channeling hate her way. Von’Du is one of the few queens of colour that have received hate on the Emmy-winning series. Drag Race has acquired a track record when it comes to queens being targeted and profiled by fans.

Previously to GAY TIMES, Silky Nutmeg Ganache and Asia O’Hara have all spoken out about their experiences receiving hate. The news of Von’Du’s departure comes shortly after Brita Filter deactivated her social media to seek help and focus on mental health.

When we spoke to Silky, she told us about the types of comments she received: “I got so much hate that I went into a depression. I got so many death threats.

“People do not deserve to be treated this way. What is it going to take? Is it going to take a queen to kill herself?”

Thank you to the “fandom” of drag race! You did it! You ran another person of color away from what they love! I try to be strong but y’all done made me feel like I should hate myself and guess what you won!

— Widow Von’Du (@TheWidowVonDu) August 30, 2020

Asia also told us: “I think that the people who are in a position to influence should take some responsibility. These people have the power to influence a large number of people and they need to take that seriously.

Canadian Drag Race panelist Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman was also recently bullied off Twitter after videos of his critiques went viral on social media. Fans accused him of being toxic and bringing in personal insults to the show. Queens across the industry stepped up and spoke in favour for the actor.

The main arguments I’ve seen are accusations of “inauthenticity” (as if YOU know what’s authentic for him), and bad critiques (but none of the other judges are getting that half as hard).

— Crystal | Black Lives Matter (@crystalwillseeu) August 23, 2020

The news of Widow Von’Du is becoming part of an unfortunate pattern. As queens of colour face growing online criticism and hate, it’s no surprise the stars are taking a break. In a follow up post, the season 12 queen tweeted on how the hateful comments made her feel.

You make me feel like I should have just stayed a Kansas City queen! I hate doing this so much and I don’t wanna do this anymore!

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At the time, I had a lot of free time to myself and a lot of ideas popping into my mind. I started making a lot of beats every day and really getting back into making music. Even know I was isolated, I was still being creative. I started to buy online courses about how to sell beats online on Soundclick. I realized I had hundreds of quality beats just sitting around I could make money off of. I was making 2-3 new beats every day. I started to Tag my beats and post them on Soundclick. I setup an online store to sell my Beats as Exclusives or leases through PayPal. At the time Twitter was very popular and Instagram had just started out, Facebook was slowly dying, and YouTube was still Thriving. I read more and dug deeper into this world, finding all kinds of things online I never knew existed. I got really big into Social Media marketing, Google AdWords and Search Engine Optimization.