Nodus Tollens

Oxford University Field

As far as I can tell, this isn’t actually a phrase in any real language. So, you know, perfect. But it was the meaning of this fake phrase that caught my attention.

According to the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, Nodus Tollens is a noun and “the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense anymore.” Can I get an “amen?” Not to be dramatic, but I’ve been out of school (Bachelor’s in Communication) for six months now and I’m still super unemployed.

Even though I wasn’t completely naïve, I still kind of expected the job hunt to be easier and breezier than it was. Life is a sucker for reality checks though and, after three hard-core months of searching, applications, stress, tears, and depression, I gave up and decided what will be, will be. So I stopped.

I abandoned the non-stop applying and started the ongoing search for experience, which I hope will help guide my career to where it needs (and is meant) to be. I pursued my degree with the initial hope of working for a publisher, planning events, handling their public relations, and/or managing their social media. However, in the course of my college education, my sense of direction changed.

I realized I enjoyed everything about writing. I’ve always been a writer, but I finally got the sense that I was actually not half bad, and could count that as one of my more refined skills. It also dawned on me that I shouldn’t limit myself. I love a lot of things — food, movies, books, baking, art, music — I could work in any one of these industries. They all need event/social media/public relations professionals, right?

All of this is to say, I graduated more confused than ever. Possibilities were endless, but that only meant that if I chose one thing, I risked boxing myself in. What if I didn’t like the job? What if I couldn’t actually be successful in this field? Just how many companies in the world deal in food, movies, books, baking, art and music? I was almost immediately overwhelmed and uninspired.

Luckily, I have parents who tolerate me enough to allow me to continue living in their house and eating their food. They’ve been a constant source of support and advice without which I probably would have gone to business school, and I would have missed some of the most valuable experiences of my life.

One major thing I have definitely learned over the past few years is to follow my gut feeling and not discount the sense that something is or isn’t right. I have never regretted listening to my instincts. And in doing so, I have found even more of the Nodus Tollens definition rooted in my life so far.

 finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre—which requires you to go back and reread the chapters you had originally skimmed to get to the good parts, only to learn that all along you were supposed to choose your own adventure.

At the end of the day, you’ve got to trust your gut, it will take you where you need to go. From now on, I’m trusting my gut, and committing to choosing my own adventure.

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