matching airplane tattoos

The Story Behind My First Tattoo

It was four days before Christmas, and I was visiting my best friend since high school, Julie, in New York City. I remember it being freezing cold outside, and despite the incredibly low temperatures, Julie and I were waiting outside of Ichiran — a Japanese restaurant that is famous for its ramen dishes — for a solid half hour. Now, given that we were waiting outside for a half hour, it is fair to assume that we would pass the time by talking about anything and everything. During this time, Julie and I had an unusual conversation, and though I do not remember it completely, all I can tell you is that by the time we sat down at our table, we confirmed that we would get tattoos together that day. 

Normal decision, right? 

See, in order to make a long story short (a long, long story), Julie and I are like sisters. It wasn’t until our junior year of high school that we became close friends, and since then, though we’ve experienced our fair share of ups and downs, there is no one else I could imagine being a sister figure in my life like her. 

So, you’re probably wondering: how did both of you decide to get tattoos together, and how did you agree on one both of you liked? 

In all honesty, I do not remember the conversation of us agreeing to get tattoos together all too well. I just remember that I mentioned something about possibly wanting to get a tattoo, and then after she had said something similar, the question of “what if we got tattoos together?” arose. From there, well, here we are with two minimalist airplane tattoos on our ankles that represent our friendship, and I couldn’t love them more. 

So, was this the most random conversation we’ve ever had? Yes. Was it the most spontaneous? Yes. Was it the best, most unforgettable conversation we’ve ever had? Without a freaking doubt. 

Now, to answer your next question as to how Julie and I agreed on a matching tattoo design, let me tell you a little more about our friendship. As I’ve mentioned, our tattoo is a small, minimalist airplane tattoo on our ankles. See, the reason we chose an airplane is because of the fact that our friendship is mostly long distance. Julie is an international student from South Korea and she studies in America from August to May, while I am in America 100% of the time. In high school, we were together for the entire school year (and believe me, this made for some really good times), but the summers were hard because she would travel back to Korea for four months. However, now that we’re in college (I go to school in Michigan and she goes to school in New Jersey right outside of New York City), we see each other even less, and because an airplane is often required for us to travel and visit each other, we thought it would be the best representation of our unique friendship. 

So, here we are: two best friends and a tattoo that we’ll share forever. Believe me, getting a tattoo was certainly not on my list of things I planned to do that day, but I don’t regret it one bit. Luckily, Julie and I found a trendy tattoo shop in Times Square, and the artist was excited to work with us — especially because this was our first tattoo. For those of you who are wondering about the pain in the process, I won’t lie: I didn’t find it to be too bad. I mean, I definitely felt the pinch while I was getting my tattoo done, but I didn’t find it to be intolerable or, at the very least, anything I couldn’t handle. Also, I know that Julie felt the pinch too, but after a few minutes, she no longer considered it painful. Moreover, our tattoos are on our ankles, and compared to other areas of the body (rib cage, neck), it generally isn’t as painful, so this could be a reason the process didn’t hurt too bad. Lastly, our only aftercare was to put A&D ointment on the tattoos twice per day. For our first tattoos, the process was seamless. 

All in all, I love my tattoo. To be able to share this experience with someone who is practically my sister was one that made it unforgettable to say the least. I know that tattoos are often seen as taboo, but in my opinion, I believe that if they hold any sort of meaning to someone or tell a story, they can be such a beautiful concept. For me, my airplane tattoo is small but mighty. It tells the story of my best friendship that I couldn’t imagine my life without, and I couldn’t be more grateful for it. 

Spontaneous? Yes. Meaningful? Yes. Forgettable? Never. 

Julie, if you’re reading this, I love you, and thank you for being my soul sista. Stay rockin’ bud, see you soon. :)