My Birthday Tattoo

nervously-waiting.jpgI actually did it – I got a tattoo! I love it! On the way to the tattoo place (Kustom Skin in Fort Lupton, CO) I was fine. I wasn’t nervous or anything. As soon as I got out of the car to go in, I started getting a little bit nervous.  But it wasn’t scary at all – not at all like I expected. Ready to see it?

This is me anxiously waiting for the needle….


Getting ready…


Applying the stencil….


The stencil:


Getting started:


I feel surprisingly little pain:


Halfway done…


Almost finished…


Cleaning up…


And here’s the finished tattoo!


So before everyone asks, let me explain the significance of “five by five.”

I first heard the phrase years ago when Faith used it on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She used it to mean that everything was good or okay. This past summer, I remembered it when I was trying to decide what kind of tattoo I wanted. I knew I wanted the tattoo to mean something. I decided I wanted it to represent the major change that was going on in my life – my crisis of faith. Even when my life was up in the air and I felt constant turmoil, I still had this overwhelming sense that everything was going to be okay. No matter what I chose – faith or no faith – it was going to be okay. That’s when I remembered the phrase “five by five.” I knew I would encorporate it into my tattoo somehow. At first, I tried to go for a larger more elaborate design, but in the end I chose simplicity.

And I love it.

27 thoughts on “My Birthday Tattoo

  1. You didn’t post even one pic of you grimicing in pain. So NOT cool! You think your all tough but your really not LOL! I’m glad you love it 🙂 And Happy Birthday!


  2. I think it looks great. Simple and elegant is definitely the way forward – complex tats are usually too hard to make out.

    I’ve been vaguely thinking about getting a tat myself, I’m just not sure what theme it should have.

    Belated happy birthday! Hope you had a great day.


  3. I am going to get my first tattoo tomorrow, and I am so glad I’ve waited until I was well into my twenties to do it! It will really be meaningful & reaffirming this way; marking my skin the same way life has marked me. I love your ink, it’s just right. I feel the same way – simplicity says so much more. (so why the f*ck is my comment so long?!)


  4. How cool! I’ve been recently thinking of getting Kindness tattooed in that exact same spot and everyone told me it would KILL! Glad to see you smiling through the experience.


  5. “Five by five” (occasionally written “‘5 by 5”, “five-by-five” or “5-by-5”) by extension has come to mean “I understand you perfectly” in situations other than radio communication, the way Loud and Clear entered slang, post-World War II. A further shortened form is “five by”.


  6. Hello

    Cool tattoo…did it hurt? I am getting one on my right wrist pretty soon and i’m a bit nervous. The font is beautiful….love it!


  7. hey mandi! just wondering if you could tell me the font you used for your tattoo? i abolsutely love it! or if you have a template of the tattoo saved anywhere i would really appreciate if you would email it to me. thanks !


  8. I love your tattoo! I too have “five by five” on my left wrist. I get asked what it means all of the time. lol.


  9. I think that’s a great tattoo, and the font is PERFECT for what point you’re trying to get across. I inquire about how this tattoo works in your working career and if it’s difficult to cover up? I’m considering a tattoo, also on my left wrist, of “Faith” but I am fearing not being able to disguise it enough for a medical career.
    Any advice would be awesome! 🙂


  10. Deirdre: I haven’t had any trouble having to cover it up at all. I chose my left wrist so that if I needed to, I could easily cover it with a watch, but I’ve found that I never wear a watch anymore because I want to see it! I work at a University, and it’s not been a problem for me to have the tattoo uncovered – but if I needed to, I certainly could easily do so with a watch, cuff, or bracelet.

    Good luck with yours!


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