It’s all about pursuing your dreams, making it happen, then not letting the lights blind you when you finally have it in your hands. That.. is what The Greatest Showman movie has shown me.
Though it’s not just that —
— and this is not a movie review.
Basically, the film revolved around an ambitious guy named PT Barnum who has experienced life in a hard way at such a young age. Sleeping on the streets, trying to steal food to fill an empty stomach, and sneaking letters on the mailman’s bag so that a young girl named Charity – who is totally out of Barnum’s league – will get to read it. Rich family, high-standard parents – name it all and it’ll fit.
You might say, “Ahh, the typical rich girl-poor guy movie who will end up together even against all odds,” which is true and I can’t deny. It somehow is like The Notebook in that case. They ended up together and went against “all odds” which I will write about more in a while.
But the thing here is.. this movie didn’t revolve around them. This film isn’t all about romance. It’s about PT Barnum and his dreams, PT Barnum and his high self-esteem, PT Barnum and his never-ending attitude to keep on wanting more. Mostly.
Now I want to go back to the first part of the movie where Barnum grew up and went to Charity’s parents to ask for her hand in marriage. They lived a humble life after and Charity is already content with that, simply because she wants nothing else but happiness.
“This is not the life I promised you,” said Barnum once to his wife.
Aaaahh, the feels, man! THE FEELS! This line just pinched my heart a little for it showed how he had dreamt of something bigger for his family yet failed to give. How he had wanted to be a good provider not just to his wife but also to his kids. And I can see where he’s coming from. He doesn’t want his kids to experience what he has experienced which I personally and truly understand.
My father used to say the same thing to my brother and I. “Everything your Mom and I are doing is for you. You, guys, should be grateful that you don’t experience what we had experienced before.” Not that I’m saying we’re living the lavish life already, but compared to what they had, our life, presently, is 200% better.
My Dad, Allan, grew up in this small barong-barong house away from the city with his three younger female siblings and my Lola (grandma). That small dampa house (not the photo below; the photo below is just like a tambayan or a place to hang out in front of it) turned into a two-bedroom-cement house later on during my dad’s childhood days – which I don’t have a photo of.
We used to visit this place when my brother and I were younger. My Lola isn’t living there any more that time, same with my Dad’s other siblings, but we still have our close relatives staying.
I remember being excited to go there because aside from the fresh unpolluted air that kisses my skin, my impo had this rocking chair in her room that I’ve always loved to sit on. She was always too sweet to me; she even had a photo of myself glued to her antique cabinet’s mirror. I remember anticipating to go there because our amo/lola will cook kaldereta for us. The best kaldereta in the whole wide world that no one can copy her recipe up to this date.
I’ve always loved going there. The place where life is silent, simple, yet happy. Sadly, they both passed away a few years back, and no one is living in that place anymore since the area was bought or taken away by the government. I’m not really sure and that’s a totally different issue.
I never got to meet my Lolo (grandpa) from my Dad’s side because he passed away when my Dad was still seven years young. My Auntie, who I’m currently living with, doesn’t have any memories of him for she’s still a baby that time; and my Lola – who I almost lost because of depression [read here] – never remarried. She had to work extra harder just to send her kids to school, serve food at the dining table every day, and be the best Mom & Dad for them at the same time. So growing up, my Dad has always been the breadwinner of his family. It was a hard life.
When Barnum was slowly reaching his dreams, he bought his family a new home and gave his daughters the things they had wished for. “This is the life I promised you,” he said. From the disappointment and sadness in his voice on my first quoted line above, his words suddenly turned to this — a line full of love, satisfaction, and proudness.
But was he really satisfied and content with what he had? I kid you not.
Barnum kept on wanting more. He aspired to be something more. It’s like he has reached the moon yet he still wants to reach for the sun. And do I see something wrong with that? Yes.
When you keep wanting for more even with all the things that you have, will you ever feel contentment in your life? No. Never.
You will be blinded by the lights that are standing right in front of you. You will start noticing the big things more that you will not remember how important the little things are. You will forget who you’re dedicating your dreams for and why you’re doing it in the first place. And worse comes to worst, your ego will slowly, f-cking, eat you alive.
Cliché as it may sound but continue chasing your dreams, believe you will catch it, and follow where your heart will lead you to. I trust you, I believe in you, and I have faith in you. You deserve the best in life! You deserve it all, okay?! And even if I may have been a blogger-advocate for saying that line so many times on my blog already, in no way will I ever take that back because it’s true.
I am writing this genuinely from the bottom of my heart. You deserve every good thing in this mad world. We all do. Some we have to work extra hard for and some are rewarded to us by this sometimes-effed-up-but-beautiful universe. Know that whatever that is, it will be ours, as long as it is meant for us.
It’s not wrong to dream big, achieve those, and dream more. I’m just here as a reminder that when the time comes that you’ve experienced the best in life already, humility and success will and should always come together. You started from the bottom, too – so be humble. Keep your feet on the ground and just let the universe see how happy and content you are. As the saying goes, climb the mountain so you can see the world; not so the world can see you.
I can’t wait for the day where we can all finally tell ourselves, “Self, this is the life I promise you.” I truly can’t. Good luck on your journey and continue reaching for the stars.