Series 43: For the Love of Conversations | Episode 02
For the Love of Conversations: Jen and Kelly on Friendship Through the Years
Friendship is one of those gifts in life we can run to when it feels like the rest of the world just doesn’t get us. On a day when life hasn’t been cooperating exactly as you’d hoped, who hasn’t called that friend we can vent to, cry to, laugh with, and compare notes with? And the longer a friendship goes, the deeper the bond seems to be. But some of us are in spaces in our lives where we’ve had to follow another dream and leave the proximity of our friends. And the work of friendship takes on a different layer. It can be difficult to connect like we used to–even if it was just dropping by to say hi because you could–it’s harder to keep relationships alive when you don’t see your friend daily, weekly, or even monthly. In this second installment of our For the Love of Conversations with Jen and Kelly, we are talking all about friendship and how it changes as you mature, grow, and perhaps even re-locate. And how to keep it going strong—even across the divides of family commitments, jobs, and miles in between. Jen and Kelly first had this conversation over on Kelly’s podcast, but we loved it so much we had to share it here–plus–-Jen has added some of her own insights and comments regarding her friendship with Kelly and what she learned through their conversation.
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Hey, everybody, Jen Hatmaker here. Welcome to the show. Oh, my goodness. I’m so pleased to have you here this week as we are in the second episode of an amazing and fun and interesting and thought provoking series with my friend Kelly Corrigan. I hope you loved our first talk last week about change. And this week we’re talking about something that is near and dear to both of us. Friendships.
We originally had this conversation over on Kelly’s podcast and we loved it so much we brought a few of those convos over here to our show, along with some brand new commentary from yours truly. Because I just love talking to Kelly. I love how we are together. You kind of just forget you’re even recording anything and you aren’t just on the back porch solving the world’s problems over a glass of wine. So if you missed last week, I cannot urge you enough to go back and listen to it. It’s a pretty robust intro to our friendship and how we met and how we are now. And plus, it’s just an amazing conversation.
But I have a really small handful of women in my life who I reach for and I think of when what I have in front of me needs a wise, thoughtful, and honest conversation partner around a big idea. Or I need a partner whose work I believe in and respect. And that together we can bring our experiences and our ideas and our struggles, our failures, our lessons to the table without any degree of self-protection. I know that if we sit down together, what we will discuss will be beautiful and hard and it’ll serve our listeners. Kelly is one of those. If you’re new to her, if you didn’t hear last week or you’ve not seen her work before, you’ll see what I mean. I find myself reaching for my pen to jot down little notes of something she’s saying or a little phrase she is using, like she’s my professor, right? Like I’m a student in her class.
She is just poignant. And she’s also so funny and so unvarnished in a way that I’m drawn to. And I think you will be too. So here we go. Friendship, you guys. If you are a listener of this podcast, or if you engage with me on social media, you have 100% seen who I consider my ride or dies, my besties. They have got me through thick and thin and me them. And I know that this is rare in this day and age, but some of them have been in the picture since we were babies, like growing up together, playing in each other’s backyards, having sleepovers, talking about boys, marrying those boys, having kids, sending kids out into the world. They’ve hung in through career changes and divorces. Like everything. Everything. And I know that’s not everyone’s experience, of course.
And Kelly talks about all the different ways we come to know our people and some of the surprising ways, actually, women cross our paths that we never expected would end up as true solid friendships. I think the topic of friendship is really tender. Kelly and I talked about this a lot before we recorded this episode. Some of us like Kelly, for example, and you’ll hear her talk about this, maybe find themselves in a new season of life that takes them to a brand new physical location. Nobody talks about how tough it can be to make new friends in your forties or in your fifties, in a new place when everything is more formative. In our younger years, it feels like we align a little more easily with folks in the same rhythm of life as we are.
We may see some of those earlier friendships peel off, and we’re left with a smaller group of people that really stood the test of time. And honestly, that’s okay. But new friends. Oh, it’s like going on a first date sometimes. Kelly and I said that we think it takes at least 25 interactions at our age to decide if we think someone’s going to make the front cut. Because allowing people into our life, new people really can be trickier at this stage. So I loved her perspective during this conversation on what that looks like for her right now. I think you’re going to take a lot away from that. I’ve also had to navigate some new, uncharted territory when it comes to friendships, and this is another test of time situation that I didn’t expect to have to figure out. Neither did they, which is what my friendships look like after divorce, right? Kelly asked me some pretty pointed questions here, and I told her this is a whole thing I didn’t even really know about until it happened to me.
Of course, when you have the whole couple friends thing down pat. I mean, we had that thing locked and loaded. What happens when you’re no longer a couple, right? What happens when everybody else is a couple but all of a sudden you’re not anymore? So we get into that here, too. Kelly and I even talk about how talking to our friends can absolutely feel therapeutic, but it’s not the best idea to always put our friends in the therapist role. My friends have obviously heard it all, but it wasn’t until I started talking to a real therapist that I realized I needed that professional voice to suss some things out for me. That my friends, even though we think and suggest that we can fix things with a good mutual rant which does feel good, and Lord, we need those. And they do know you better than anyone too. But a professional helps. You kind of know yourself better. And they have the tools to facilitate the discovery of stuff inside your own heart and soul and mind and patterns that only you can really get to.
And guess what? It makes you a better person and a better parent and a better friend to get to the bottom of that. So she and I talked about all that and more. We get real honest here, you guys, because as I’ve said, I know friendship and adult life is a tender topic. It really can be. Friends have the power to save us and they have the power to hurt us. And there are times in our lives when friends are abundant and sometimes they’re scarce. So Kelly and I are going to wrap our heads around all that and how we show up in it. And we are super glad that you are here for our conversation.
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XO – Team Jen