“Saw Things So Much Clearer Once You Were in My Rearview Mirror” – Pearl Jam

In the song “Rearview Mirror,” Pearl Jam’s lead singer/songwriter Eddie Vedder’s anger and sadness are vivid and palpable. According to Paul Evans of Rolling Stone, “When Vedder roars, ‘Saw things…clearer…/Once you were in my rearviewmirror,’ it seems that it’s not only some personal sorrow that he’s willing himself to tear beyond but the entire weight of the past itself.”   It’s long been thought that Vedder was singing about leaving behind his bullying Pat Conroy-style stepfather. Obviously, leaving his circumstances worked out well for Eddie Vedder.  So, can anyone gain clarity and, ultimately, benefit by leaving a situation behind?

If you leave a job, for instance, even if it’s not on your terms, can you gain anything from your departure?  In an article for Huffington Post called “8 Lessons I Learned from a Layoff,” by Michael Thomas Sunnarborg founder of the White Box Club™ (a reference to the boxes people use to cart out their office remains), people can glean something from leaving.  Consider Sunnarborg’s missive in Lesson #4:  “We are always growing. Everything in our world grows and expands, including us. Growth is part of the creative process that exists in all things and people. Even when it’s not our choice, going with the flow of life and releasing resistance to change always brings relief.”  I’m not sure my husband or anyone else who’s been laid off would call it “relief,” but I agree that change can bring growth if you can frame it that way.

Have you left your previous life in your “rearview mirror” and if so, what lessons have you learned?  Please leave your comments below.

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3 thoughts on ““Saw Things So Much Clearer Once You Were in My Rearview Mirror” – Pearl Jam

  • August 22, 2016 at 8:08 am

    I am embarrassed to say I am leaving most of my friends behind. I recently realized that I am codependent and most of my friends are people I want to “help” or “save” or narcissists that don’t leave any room for my voice. At 50+ I am working hard to pause, think about what I am feeling and speak up, take up space. Scary because there is so much I need to change but am hopeful I can do it.

    • August 22, 2016 at 10:17 am

      I can relate, Suki. It does seem like friendships go through phases and some run their course. Thanks for your comment and best of luck with moving into your next stage. I have a feeling the world will be opening up for you in new and unanticipated ways.

      • August 22, 2016 at 10:56 am

        Thanks for that encouraging sentiment, Kathy.


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