Dear Dylan,

Make time for life. This was the message of a campaign I saw in my facebook feeds.

I’m sharing this with you, because there will come a time when everything will be a blur. Your vision will be focused on only one thing, and that is building your career. And just like a horse with eye shutters, you will only see the path to your destination. The rest of your life will fade in the peripheries.

I was like this for years. And while I feel good about my accomplishments, I struggle to remember anything else during that timeframe. It’s as if a lot has happened, but nothing has happened. When I meet with friends, there’s nothing to share but work or something I saw online.

The passage of time only sinks in when somebody dies, like your great grandfather. When I try to remember him, my memory stops in a particular occasion in 2006. Everything after that is like a corrupted file in my brain’s hard drive. How I wish I can retrieve those lost years.

Looking back, I find that memories from my youth are more vivid. They have more details about people, interactions and space. There was a thirst to understand reality and to grasp its essence.

Being thrown into the workforce, this perspective has gradually changed. Idealism just seemed to be a subject matter in an old philosophy class. Reality was now measured in terms of a task, deadline, and salary. You always need to be on your toes because there’s that lingering threat of losing your job if you fail to perform.

Now that I have you in my life, I try to remind myself to slow down and be in the moment. Because I know that when I start thinking about my mortality, all of my accomplishments wouldn’t matter if I wasn’t able to find time for you. This speech of Obama is a good reminder of the responsibilities of being a parent.

 

Dear Dylan is a blog series by Patrick Bilog, a father in his mid-30’s, writing to his four month old son, Dylan. Knowing that his memory will one day fail him, Patrick starts jutting down random thoughts in a form of a letter. Through stories about coming of age, settling down, social issues, popular culture, to matters of the heart, Dear Dylan attempts to narrate life in the 1980’s to the early 2000’s. Dear Dylan is also a father’s personal sticky notes reminding him to look back and cherish what matters most in life.