Auld Lang Syne.

Ever since I was a wee little lass, I’ve always had an odd and obsessive fondness towards the infamous song/poem written by a Scottish poet named Robert Burns called “Auld Lang Syne”; a ubiquitous song famously known to be played and chanted after the countdown to zero for the New Year.

A few days ago, I had watched a rented movie from Redbox called New Year’s Eve; a movie about moving on and into well, you guessed it- the new year. In the movie, Lea Michelle, also known as the star of the hit TV show Glee, Rachel Berry, covered one of the most beautiful renditions of “Auld Lang Syne” at the end of the movie. It’s quiet embarrassing to admit the fact that for somebody who claims to fancy the song, has nothing close to an idea of what “Auld Lang Syne” signified. Yes, I didn’t know the significance of  the song until I read the subtitles in the movie as Lea Michelle sang the song, and of course, with a little of online research to clarify its meaning. Finally, years after being unacquainted to something I fancy, I now love the song 101% times more with the knowledge that “auld lang syne” means “times long past”. The lyrics to me are delicately beautiful in a way that it subtly speaks to everyone individually about the love and kindness of  the days gone by. 

I’ve realized after watching this movie, and being taken off guard by a minute speech presented by a character in the movie played by Hilary Swank, I’ve entered the new year as bitter as a cup of black coffee. I feel as though I had entered the new year hoping for the best but  constantly preparing for the worst. It’s not easy for me to let go of the past when I mentally train myself to always remember the traumatizing events that had happened that scarred me deep enough to prevent me to not let go; deep enough that I won’t let go. My troubles are maybe minor to spectators, but the truth is, pain is pain. Isn’t that what makes us all alike after all? “Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.” [H. Jackson Brown Jr.], is that not the truth? It’s definitely not easy to let bygones be bygones, but at the same time, why not? Why is it that we struggle so much to aforethought, future problems that we forget about everything else? It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. The aforementioned speech delivered by Hilary Swank in the movie was a perfect speech about letting go and moving forward. A perfect speech of auld lang syne.

“…it’s (the ball) suspended there to remind us before we pop the champagne and celebrate the new year, to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by.

To remember both our triumphs and missteps, our promises made and broken. The times we opened ourselves up to great adventures or closed ourselves down for fear of getting hurt. Because that’s what new year is all about — getting another chance. A chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more. And stop worrying about what if and start embracing what would be. 

So when the ball drops at midnight, and it will drop, let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. And not just tonight but all year long.”

As we go on about our days, let us pause and reflect the times that were, and the times that could, for auld lang syne.