4 Reasons Why I Got A Tattoo Of A Backwards Airplane
Start writing a post

When you get a tattoo, the first thing people ask you is “why?” They always seem to want some deep and philosophical answer. They expect a story that’ll make them cry. But in all honesty, I don’t have a single heartfelt motive for why I got my tattoo. I just have a few tiny inspirations that wouldn’t mean much to someone who didn’t know me. So, of course, I’m going to share some of them with the internet.

I have a paper airplane tattooed on my chest. It’s about 2 inches long and has a tail with an arrow pointing at the end. I have a friend who likes to say that my tattoo is wrong because “airplanes don’t go backward.” But this one does. And I have a reason for it.

1. My dad.

When I was little, I had a fascination with planes. I’d never been on one, and I loved the mystery. My family is afraid of heights, so we drove everywhere we went. But occasionally, my dad would take me to the airport, and we’d park in the viewing area to watch the planes take off. I knew he didn’t care much for the activity, but he cared about the girl who cared about the activity – and so he went. My dad and I don’t really have much in common, but in those moments, it didn’t matter. I cite those times as the best of my childhood because they were so simple. We were just two people looking at the sky.

2. Endless possibilities.

When you go on a plane, you can go anywhere in the world. You can just pick up one day and start over in a place you’ve never been before. You can experience culture and beauty in ways you’ve never known. You can simultaneously lose and find yourself in it. Planes serve as a reminder that you’re never stuck. They’re a reminder that you have so much to do, so much to see and so many places to go.

3. Depression.

That’s right kiddos, we’re about to get sad. Around the time I got this tattoo, things weren’t the best. And in all honesty, things still aren’t amazing. But they’re getting better every day. However, on bad days, it’s hard to get out of my head. It seems everything in my life is directly associated with someone else. Places, songs, patterns, and words are branded in my mind in connection with a bad memory. So this was my way of taking something good and making it mine before it became anyone else’s.

4. My sister.

My sister is the most important person in my life; partly because we were forced to be in each other’s company for 18 years, and partly because after a while, it wasn’t forced at all. A fun fact about her is that she loves the Pixar short Paperman. It’s a silent 7-minute film about love, magic, and paper planes. I’d recommend that everyone see it because it’s hopeful and beautiful and reminiscent of everything I see in her.

Before I got my tattoo, I was contemplating the design. I don’t remember the exact context of the conversation but one of my friends said that he liked an arrow at the end because it shows to move forward while always remembering to look back. It’s a subtle way of recognizing all that led me to where I am today.

Tattoos are personal, but public. When people ask me, I usually say that I got it because I liked it. It isn’t entirely a lie, but sometimes what’s yours is yours.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments