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  • Writer's pictureJules Arata

2022 word of the year: Bold

Updated: Jan 4

i have never been someone who picks out a word for the year. didn't pray about a word being revealed to me, announce it, or really even seek one out. but after last fall, i felt a desire to try it out.

last fall, my first semester post-grad, was hard. adjusting to life after college is not easy, and at first, i fell into that. i just let myself accept that it was hard and there was nothing i could do to change that.

a season of resignation, where i surrendered to the way my current situation and station made me feel, as though it was a life sentence.

finding community post-grad is difficult, coordinating schedules and especially with a job like mine that is part-time and all travel, a work community wasn't something that i had the gift of being immersed in day-to-day. yes, i still had all of my friends at smu and i was still living in dallas, but schedules are hard when all your friends are still in the college bubble.

but after prayer, reflection, && many long voice memos between me && my sweet friend from camp, i started to view this season differently. to view it as a gift. to go through this season of post-grad as a way to learn and gain wisdom for how to help my friends when they graduate.

i then met kenzie, who has seriously been such a gift. she asked me if i had thought about my word for 2022. i started to think about it && pray about it, and the word that came of that was BOLD.

now this is not a word that i would say describes me. but i decided that this was how i was to live my life, bold in my friendships, bold in my pursuit of the gospel, bold in this season. so i asked hard questions, i was bold && asked for more intentionality and conversation from friends who push me && bring me joy. i tried more foods && followed through on plans && spent time doing hobbies that brought me joy.

now this does not mean i was always able to be bold, that i was able to be confrontational when i needed to be, or that i could always stand up for myself. it does not mean that i chose myself over others, or disregarded who i was in pursuit of this word.

but what it did do is give me community, push me to ask my friends to see them at least once a month in between all of my crazy travel. it caused me to really grow in both of my jobs, to fall in love completely with both && the people i have been able to meet because of them. being bold nurtured friendships, brought laughter && joy, gave me closure, and cleared up confusion.

i can honestly say that i am in a very different, better place i was than i was a year ago.

so now, as we come up on the end of the year, the question is: what is my next word? what is a word that can help me to grow in this next year?

discipline? patience? rest? wonder? seek? enough?

still got a couple days to pray on it && figure it out, but what else is new?

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