What Does Five by Five Mean, Faith?

One frosty night, not so long ago, I was scrolling upon my phone in lieu of sleep. The app was named Instagram, the posts were endless and the quotes were #deep. Upon my casual perusal I stumbled on a few words that caught my eye. ‘Five by Five’. Those 3 words stared me straight in the face as an image flashed to my frontal lobe:

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Faith Lehane

Faith! Her catchphrase has boggled our noggins for decades. I, myself, accepted it as another one of Joss Whedon’s linguistic inventions and thus questioned it no more. He likes a bit of insular lingo, and Faith has a devil-may-care demeanour. Phrases that don’t make full sense align well with a psyche that spares little thought to philosophy, I thought. Until, in my 25th year, I saw this:

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

It’s a pretty solid perspective. I like the logical take on how pointless it is to worry because a lot of problems are inconsequential. The apathy suits Faith very well, as she puts little stock into personal relationships anyway. What if 5 by 5 made sense after all? Maybe Faith just had an idiosyncratic way of saying ‘not bad thanks mate, you?’.

You’re not sold, I know. It could well just be a happy accident from the wordsmith we know to be Whedon. In any case, there’s a nugget of wisdom there that I’m content to dip into some hypothetical BBQ sauce.

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Five by Five, B.


Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.

You believe in equality? Congratulations, you’re a feminist.

When You Love Yourself, Something Magical Happens…


Sometimes people use loyalty to bind you to the toxic relationship you have with them. Ignore them, you don’t need the approval of anybody but yourself. It’s an act of self-preservation to disconnect from people who treat you badly.

The difference between selfishness and self-love is that the first is done at the expense of what’s better for yourself and others, while the latter is a necessary act of self-care.

Feelings of guilt

For years I let feelings of guilt trap me in toxic relationships (platonic and romantic) and trick me into uncomfortable situations until I realised it’s okay to value your own mental health. Remember to always balance what’s best for everybody involved in every conversation, long-term relationship or ordinary situation. Sometimes you should champion your own needs and sometimes other people take priority -trust your judgement and intuition.

Accepting yourself 

Reject expectations if those ideals hinder your life rather than exalt your happiness. An example would be how women are conditioned into passivity as though they are merely vessels for another person’s happiness. If somebody wrongs you on purpose, you are justified if you show them that actions have consequences. Actively try to accept yourself for who you are as an individual and you will succeed. Cancel out the negative self-talk chipping away at your self-worth because if you set aside limiting beliefs, you can do whatever you want to do. In fact, that’s what you should be doing. You are worthy and free to believe in yourself so you can make the most of life’s blessings.

Internet Nuggets: Tips for writers, Lady Gaga & Madonna are comeback Queens, Voting & More!

It’s March, somehow! Spring will fully blossom between the 19th – 21st of the month and with it, the days will finally get brighter. In the meantime, I want to share with you some of the fascinating viewpoints, pop culture highlights and morsels of news I’ve read about over the past few weeks.

Did you catch Lady Gaga at the Oscars? Her phenomenal voice slayed so magnificently, it stunned the fickle media into proclaiming her the comeback Queen.

Speaking of the Oscars, here’s some statistics on how diverse (or not) the Oscar nominees tend to be: White men everywhere.

Women have periods, whereby the uterus releases blood via the vagina for around 7 days of every month. Surprisingly, none of us consider this a luxurious event. –  It needs to stop being taxed as such.

Kurt Cobain was a feminist and his songs reflected his strong views on non-discrimination. Yes, even the unfortunately titled one.

To digress, I’m personally passionate about boldly using split infinitives because the old guidelines are definitely obsolete…

The speculation might be over by now, but Emma Watson’s response to the rumour that she scored a Prince still rules.

Not to shock you, but Apple lied. ‘Shuffle’ isn’t truly random.

THERE IS GOING TO BE AN ‘ADVENTURE TIME’ FILM by the same producers as the Lego Movie and it’s going to be awesome-sauce.

50 Shades of Grey glamourises an abusive relationship and that’s all it does. Take it from someone who knows.

When I discovered Madonna had fallen down a staircase, I mostly hoped it meant her new single gets 10x the radio play, thus silencing the misogynistic notion that she’s “too old” to make music.

If you’re a writer who hopes to produce long fiction one day, I think these 7 tips for writing a novel are pretty useful.

Noel Gallagher insulted another musician again. Only this time it was an ill thought-out slight against Beyonce’s talent.

London is becoming gentrified, including the underwhelming parts I grew up in. A writer produced a thought-provoking piece on the fetishisation of working class culture.

If you live in the UK, you need to vote. There are links to register here.

One of my favourite programmes at the moment is Cucumber, an original drama about LGBTQ lives from stellar writer Russell T. Davies.

Debbie Harry still performs with Blondie and watches The X Factor in her downtime, apparently.

Politics is interesting – don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Recently I took the ‘Vote for Policies’ survey and this is one I’m keen to see come into fruition.

INXS – Never Tear Us Apart is one of my favourite songs ever. A writer for the AV Club recently agreed with me.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these nuggets! Let me know if any of the articles inspire or enrage you particularly and I’ll respond in kind.

Where is the quote section on Facebook?

I’m just about old enough to remember life before it was dominated by social media. I can recall signing up to MySpace on an ordinary day in 2006 and promptly befriending my brother’s ex-girlfriend. She was a nice person and a younger sister never forgets their brother’s cool female friends so I saw nothing strange in this at the time, and I was about to find out how different social etiquette is online.

The next day, my 14 year-old self was delighted to receive a notification in the form of a comment:

“Welcome to MySpace. Though I warn you, it can get quite addictive!”

Needless to say, her words have proved prophetic in the current climate of social media reign – sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter etc. are no longer means of entertainment but daily cruxes of our lives. In fact, I’ve started to notice an increase in the number of people who tell me they use Facebook as a necessity but would rather it wasn’t so. I may not be one of those people yet (as my current open tabs’ will testify) but I sympathise with this view.

A historical tale

When the mass-conversion from MySpace to Facebook occurred circa 2008, our social networking needs evolved in shape. Facebook used to be the plainer, more bureaucratic platform for social interaction whereby personal information triumphed over creative self-expression. Partially because the marketing team thought it would be wise to condense certain aspects so they could appeal to an older and more sensible generation, thus eradicating the ‘song’ feature that enabled us to convey the dominant emotion of the day. Besides, it only takes a few years for teenagers to evolve into adults and therefore the promise of a huge scale of Facebook converts was inevitable.

MySpace default picture, 2006:
MySpace default picture, 2006: “My sad face”

Today, it’s a reality.

Nevertheless, I outline this abridged social network timeline as a member of the colloquially termed MySpace generation, – probably because ‘Facebook generation’ has zero poetic appeal. If we could allow ourselves some imaginative scope however, we might say the term ‘MySpace’ is a concise reminder of the postmodern myth of the Self and society’s ever-increasing proclivity for capitalising on the allure of personalisation in a disinterested world. My space; my sphere, welcome to my world, my hopes and dreams, my opinions, my body, my thoughts, my friends, my likes and dislikes, me me me


Nowadays self-expression is only permitted where it’s statistically useful and therefore we’re encouraged to ditch the typing in favour of clicking ‘like’ or ‘dislike’ on a wide range of consumerist choices so companies know what sells and what sinks. Using social media is less fun this way.

Facts about ourselves that have little use to companies, corporations and other big bad’s are no longer catered for in headings sections. This is sad. Once upon a time you could attempt an authentic portrayal of yourself by publicly noting your favourite quotes and the people who ispired you.

Sadly, those days have gone. No longer will you roll your eyes upon reading Marilyn Monroe misquotes or a teenage nihilist’s ode to Nietzsche and maybe that’s okay.

On the other hand, wise words carry a certain wisdom that selecting your favourite brand-of-whatever for statistical purposes does not…

As an adolescent I can certifiably say I’d obsess over select quotes and analyse whether I agreed with it entirely, before vowing to live by it. Admittedly, my beloved ‘SHIT HAPPENS‘ sign on my bedroom wall is the first thing that comes to mind but there were other pearls of wisdom too.

Personal growth doesn’t have to be corny or false and self-love may sound like unrealistic spiel but remaining open to evolving as a person is half of the work.

are some of my treasured quotations sifted from a saved file, previously paraded on Facebook:

  • Killing time is an atrocity, it’s priceless and it never grows back
  • Live your life and forget your age
  • You are enough
  • Never think of failing – you don’t need to
  • No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent
  • We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with
  • Picture yourself as the kind of person you wish to be, affirm that you are that, then practice being it
  • The question isn’t ‘who’s going to let me?’ it’s ‘who’s going to stop me?’
  • Spend life with who makes you happy, not who you have to impress
  • If you want to get somewhere, you have to know where you want to go and how to get there. Then never, never give up
  • 2 great forces operate in the mind, fear and faith. Fear is very powerful but faith is more powerful.