Why Suffer for What You Love

Isn't it a bit ironic that the generation indebted to college loans and handcuffed to the stigma of a bad economy has been given the prescription to find happiness by doing what we love? 

No one takes into account the sick, twisted nature of love while they're in it. Our brains hijack the definition. An infinite dopamine loop makes us think Love is sugar and catnaps and television, forever and ever. We can't get enough, and our jobs, our loans, our economy just happens to stand in the way.

Even with all the reminders in our lifetimes of dying love, though, we conveniently forget it's a ton of hard work. And we're not at fault, it's a human reaction. Taste a bit and we want the whole thing for free and now, no interruptions. That's the dangerous idea Tiffany Shlain includes her documentary Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology.

I think I've found a solution, though, and it exists in the connection of two unlikely parts: my vague understanding of Buddhism and the rock band Queens of the Stone Age. Buddhism exists with the acceptance that Life is Suffering. While there are moments of happiness, suffering is inevitable and we can work to transcend past it into Nirvana. Queens of the Stone Age have a great lyric in their song "Go With the Flow" that says, "I want something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live."

If Life is Suffering, why not suffer for something beautiful? Why not contribute something amazing? Why not become a Buddhist rock star? To do what you love means to suffer through it, even when you hate it. Love is not easy. Love is not sugar and catnaps and television.

And if the only way out of debt and joblessness and my generation's woes is what the world tells me, I'm going to search for love wherever I can and believe in my reason for suffering.