"From the bottom of the ash I rose…"

Here’s my fresh ink…hot off the needle! 

Here’s the story behind it:

Lotus flowers grow in muddy murky water, just like humans are born in a world where there is suffering.  It slowly emerges, breaking the surface of the water, and then blooms beautifully while resting calmly.  A white lotus flower refers to purity of the mind and the spirit.

The words surrounding my lotus flower are the beginning lyrics to the song “Save Me” by rapper Machine Gun Kelly.  “From the bottom of the ash I rose…(to the top I go, where I’m from it’s cold).”

Now, people who know me would never assume I listen to rap or hip-hop, nor would they assume I am the type of person to get some rap lyric tattooed on my body.

First off, I am not the type of person to be stuck into a box or to conform to some type of stereotype or preconceived idea of what people think or expect from me (um, hello, my blog title is “A Living Oxymoron”).  I am a human being and I am far more complex than that.

Secondly, music is art, and it, too, is far more complex than being reduced to genres and labels.  There is a lot of crap out there, there is a lot of music made for profit or to perpetuate a reputation or an image, but real music is too powerful to be bounded by stereotypes or genres or billboard charts or album sales.  Real music MOVES you.  Real music INSPIRES.  MGK makes REAL music.

Finally, Machine Gun Kelly is way more than just another rapper, he is REAL; he is not only the realest rapper out there, he is one of the realest PEOPLE on this earth.  He is authentic, he has character, he has integrity, he has PASSION.  You can see it in his eyes, you can feel it in his music.  He is an artist, a genius…incredibly under appreciated. 

I have not latched on to something, felt so inspired, or been truly moved like I have since I discovered him.  He represents a struggle I am SO familiar with; he understands what it is like to have SO much to offer, to know that what you are capable of is nothing short of amazing, but having no one listen to what you have to say, having no one truly understand what you’re about, feeling like the world is not ready for what you are bringing.  It takes a truly sublime person to stand up against that kind of struggle every day, it takes an even more courageous person to try and fight and push on anyways.  Machine Gun Kelly does just that…and encourages his fans to do the same.

Sometimes you search so hard for words. You look for a way to interpret the language of this heart and the unspoken bond you feel. But in the end you are left with nothing but silence. And deep down you hope it’s understood.

Yasmin Mogahed

He sympathizes, he understands.  He doesn’t just stand up for the underdog, he stands with them.  There just aren’t people this real, this genuine, this authentic. 

So yes, I got his lyrics tattooed on my body.  They will be with me for life.  And I am proud of that.  I am proud to be a part of a movement that inspires people to be better than they were the day before.  I am proud to be a person who stands up for what is right and what I believe in, above ALL else.  I am proud to know there are people out there that aren’t tainted by money and fame, people who don’t give up on their morals, who are people of strong conviction, who continue to pursue the desires of their heart, no matter what society tells them or expects of them.  I am proud to see people come together and not be driven apart.

This kind of belief is strong, it is powerful.  Sometimes I feel it so strongly that I just want to shout it from the mountaintops, because it seems like no one else understands and it seem as if no one will listen.  It feels so good to know I am not alone; it is so refreshing to be a part of something so pure, so beautiful, so wonderful.