4 Reasons Why I Got A Tattoo Of A Backwards Airplane

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.

-Having struggled with acne prone skin for years, I was cautious to try a new serum on top of the other products I've come to trust.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Your Social Activism May Actually Benefit From A Cleansing Social Media Detox

In the craziest year of our lives, sometimes there's value in taking a break.

We are living through, unequivocally, one of the most dangerous, unstable, chaotic periods of any of our lives. From COVID-19 to crises of police brutality to the mass exploitation of the poor by mega-corporations, the world outside seems to be looking more dystopic every day. What can be done about it? For many, activism involves heavily posting on social media to keep others aware. However, this comes with a net negative cost — increased levels of anxiety, depression, and hopelessness about the state of the world. Why might this be? After all, in past eras activists have endured comparable and greater levels of abuse and relentless torment from oppressors. Why, now, are people getting so easily burnt out?

Keep Reading... Show less

Reading is a relaxing activity that provides many benefits. Everybody reads books (when they are not watching Netflix, chatting on social media, or making Tik Tok videos) to distract themselves from reality for a while. Many do not realize the positive impact that books have like reducing stress, assisting with sleep, improving cognitively, and strengthening the mind. In honor of National Book Day, there are many great novels that you can read to mark this special holiday. Here are the best ones to check out.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

5 Things You Need To Know Before You Watch 'Arrested Development' On Netflix

"Her?" Yes, she's an amazing show! (You'll get this joke after you watch the show).

Netflix

"Arrested Development" is an award-winning sitcom that aired for three seasons on Fox beginning in 2003, and then was picked up by Netflix for a fourth season in 2013, and then again for a final season in 2018.

However, it seems to remain one of the world's most underrated and under-appreciated shows of all time. Although this article alone won't be enough to skyrocket the show to Netflix's top 10, I hope that it will open people's eyes to the value and quality of the show.

Keep Reading... Show less

I have always felt left out because of how I look and who I am. I have always felt like the elephant in the room, literally. I have always been shamed for my size. For the longest time, I cared so much about what I wear and who I wore certain things in front of. I never wanted to wear shirts that would show a lot of my arm, located above my elbow. I wouldn't wear shorts that didn't go to the tip of my knees, at least. I never wore anything remotely tight, where you could see every curve, roll, or imperfection. I was so insecure about myself, and not many of my friends knew.

Keep Reading... Show less

Being a pharmacy technician never held as many risks as it does now. Exposure too hazardous conditions were little to none, and garbing up was only conducted in IV compounding. But, now, in order to give nurses the medications they need to help their patients, they need us, pharmacy technicians.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

I Asked My Boyfriend His Opinion On Liking Other Girls’ Pictures, And, Spoiler Alert, It's Cheating

"When you get into a relationship and you're in love, you have to realize that liking photos is for the single lifestyle."

Ladies, listen up. If you are in a relationship with a guy and he is liking other girls' pictures on social media, then it's a red flag. A man who can look at someone else and show interest by liking it means he doesn't care about your feelings AT ALL.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Celebrities Stealing Designs From Small Fashion Labels Is NOT A Good Look, And They Need To Pay Up

When larger, more established figures or brands steal from lesser-known independent creators, they are taking opportunities away from these creators while also profiting from someone else's work and claiming it as their own.

Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B recently collaborated on their new single "WAP," with the music video also being released on Friday. Both Megan Thee Stallion and Cardi B posted photos of themselves on Instagram to celebrate the premiere of "WAP." An independent designer quickly noticed that the rappers' matching tops were copies of a top she had designed last year.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

When You Have A Disability, Finding A Job Is Twice As Hard, Believe Me, I Know

We have got to create a safer work environment for people with disabilities.

"My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn't prevent you from doing well, and don't regret the things it interferes with. Don't be disabled in spirit as well as physically." – Stephen Hawking

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

7 Books That Are NOT In The Young Adult Genre That Will Change Your Life

Young Adult isn't the only genre that exists, so here are seven books that any book lover wanting to try something new will love.

One of the most popular genres in literature that everyone has read at least one book from is Young Adult fiction. Now, I personally can say that, in the past, I have been one of those people that only read from the YA section of the bookstore.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with just reading one genre, it's good sometimes to venture out of your reading comfort zone into the other book genres of the literary world.

In a previous article, I discussed the importance and power of words. The perfect example of this is literature and its impact on the world. Books have always played a crucial part in human lives, from how we are able to expand our knowledge to how we pass our time.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments