My personal definition of victory is choosing growth over stagnation. Every time we choose growth we choose to bring something better into our lives than we are used to and that to me is victory. In my life, victory over victimhood looks like practicing self love, trying new things, and working out every week.

First, I practice self love. It is said that loving yourself is the hardest thing you can do in this world. It takes a lot to just wake up every morning and take a shower so that our bodies will be clean and taken care of so that we can go out and enjoy life. I tell people that I started really loving myself about a month ago. Before that turning point, if you told me that life isn’t about being miserable I truly wouldn’t have believed you. I was extremely depressed and was isolating myself. I’m grateful for having had the willpower to still go to work. But if I wasn’t there, I lived aimlessly with the feeling of emptiness growing in my heart. I finally got tired of letting my life pass me by. So one day I took action. I started running, reached out to peers, found a therapist, and through covenant House I even got a life coach to help me reach my goals and find purpose in my life again. I’m grateful for the resources I have and to myself for taking advantage of them. I can definitely see the growth in myself over the course of the past month and the victory in every step I took.

Second, I try new things. I think it’s great to get out of my comfort zone every once in awhile. When I explore new territory I feel like I grow as a person. For instance, I remember when I went boogie boarding for the first time this year. I didn’t know how to swim and I was terrified at the thought of being pulled away by the current. But with the help of an instructor who held my hand and lifted me every time I slipped and fell into the water, I learned how to boogie board. Afterwards, I was filled with the feeling pride because I went for it, victory because I conquered my fear and wonder at the immensity of the ocean.

Next, I work out every week. It wasn’t easy at first. However, over time I’ve built my endurance and saw changes in myself that motivated me to keep going.I am much healthier than I was when I first started. Not only that, but I feel like building my endurance helps me in other areas of my life as well because it shows me that as long as I stay consistent in reaching my goals I can do the things that seemed impossible for me to do at one point. The more I reach my fitness goals the more I feel like a victor rather than a victim.

In conclusion, I believe growth is synonymous with victory. I found both through self love, exercise, and trying new things. I believe that as we grow we continue to thrive. As we continue to thrive we continue to conquer. And as we keep conquering we continue to be victorious.