The Life I Promised You

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.

Love, Amielle

30 thoughts on “The Life I Promised You

  1. “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 super love this. And about the movie, I wanna watch it because of this, nung nakita ko kasi sya sa cinema akala ko parang LalaLand ang peg nya.

    Maiba tayo, db I promised you I’ll show you Mt.Fuji, ang strange kasi simula nun hindi ko na sya nakita until now. Maybe it’s saying na you don’t need me to achieve something, because you will. Pero db minsan need din natin ng paniniwalaan kagaya na lang ng pagsayaw ng sun dance kapag umuulan, wala mang konek sa weather pero we do beleive na hihinto sya. ANyways, ang haba na nito. Haha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post with an inspiring message! ❤ I love it!! 💕 I’ve not seen the movie yet. I’ve been meaning to. Everyone I know who’s watched it has been raving about it 😁❤

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  3. Barnum had to dream those dreams before he could achieve them …. I am a dreamer and make no apology for dreaming and often dreaming big. If you don’t aim for the stars you will always fall flat. I loved this post and say keep doing what you are doing …. you deserve those stars!

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  4. Havent watched the movie though i heard good things about it. My lola used to make us champorado when we wake up from our nap. So nice of you to share your childhood memories -those things are the best! Esp pag may something about food. Hehe.

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  5. Aaahhhh yes!!! Same reason why I loved that film (aside from the catchy songs) even if critics’ reviews were mostly negative.

    Such an inspiring post! Dream big but be humble. I wish everyone will get to read this post and take it to heart.

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    1. Totoo ba? Buti nalang ‘di ako nagbasa ng reviews before watching! Mabilis akong maniwala sa mga review review eh. Hahahahaha.

      Thank you, Ate Anne!! 🤗💖

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    2. Yup!! Buti after the movie ko na rin nabasa. Lahat kasi ng officemates ko na nakapanood nagandahan naman. I guess mababaw or usual rags to riches lang kwento kaya di trip ng professional critics.

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  6. Beautiful written post just wow! 😍😍😍💜💜👌👏👏👏I want to watch this movie too. I love the song this is me so much and all of them. You are so right. I guess human beings always want more and more and at the end we are never happy with the things we already have. This was really an amazing post. Thank you for writing this. I missed you! ❤

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  7. Yeahh iba talaga ang mga naging experiences ng parents natin kaysa sa mga experiences natin ngayon. So, learn to appreciated things talaga especially yung effort nila to raise us in well-decent life :) Thank you for inspiring me ate!! Hope to meet you soon :) God bless po!

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