For the Love of Conversations: Jen and Kelly on Hard and Beautiful Change

Episode 01

You know there really isn’t much that’s more comforting than sitting down with one of your friends and talking openly because you know they just get you. They have seen you grow and change and evolve and become who you are today–and they don’t try to stand in the way of that change however hard it may be for them, or for you. These conversations with friends are life giving.  And with that in mind, we thought it might be fun to have a series of conversations here in our podcast community with our best and brightest friends and dispensers of wisdom and humor. And our first conversation partner for this 4-part series is none other than one of our favorite humans herself–author, podcaster and speaker Kelly Corrigan. This first installment of For the Love of Conversations will bring us 4 weeks from Kelly’s own show, Kelly Corrigan Wonders, with new thoughts and insights from Jen herself at the front of each episode. To kick things off, Kelly and Jen tackle the good, the bad, and the ugliest parts of change. We all know that change is hard, not just for us, but for our people–and that pesky inability to see the future makes it even harder. Jen and Kelly lean into the notion that change can be beautiful. It helps us create the life we want for ourselves while growing us into the people we’ve always wanted to be. 

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. Jen Hatmaker here. Welcome to the show, y’all. I am super, super pleased to have you here this week as we are kicking off a brand new series. And this one is extra special because it is four weeks of conversations with one of my favorite people on this earth, and who doesn’t love a conversation between two good friends who apparently are not afraid to tell it like it is no holds barred. I love friends that I am that comfortable with. I’m so pleased to bring you our first For The Love of Conversations series featuring Jen and Kelly. 

Yes, I had the distinct pleasure of hanging out with Kelly for a four part series on her podcast, and our conversations just ran the gamut. We know that some of you guys listen to her, but many of you don’t. And I loved this series so much. I wanted to make sure it got into my beloved listeners ears as well. And even if you did hear it over on Kelly’s show, I’m going to be adding some thoughts I’ve had since we spoke just to mix it up a little bit. So stick with us because we always like to keep things fresh around here, of course. So before we really dive into what this series is all about, I want to tell you more about Kelly, because she is truly a gift to this earth. Kelly Corrigan. She’s a podcaster. She’s an author. 

She’s really just an overall great human being. She’s a daughter who still mourns the loss of her dad, a mom to her amazing daughters, a wife to her fantastic husband, a sister, a good friend, and a woman trying her best to leave this world a better and a brighter one for future generations. The way that I met Kelly, guys, is because sometimes the Internet makes friends out of people, or more to the point, you are able to use the Internet to make friends out of someone, which is exactly and precisely what I did. Over a decade ago I read Kelly’s book called The Middle Place. It’s a memoir, and that’s one of my favorite genres anyway. But Kelly is a master writer. I don’t even know what to say. 

She just has an incredible way of telling a story, but really getting to the heart of the thing, of just stringing together a sentence that is so precise and so relatable that you think about it for weeks. So The Middle Place is one of my favorite books, and if you’ve been in my world for a while, you know this. I’ve put it on every favorites list I’ve ever made about books, and so I’ve probably read it, I don’t know, seven or eight times. At one time I was reading it again because there was much going on out in my living room with the kids. This is when they were younger and I was like, I don’t want to be a part of this. I would like to not be in this loud room with these boisterous people, and I just want to not have it. 

So I went back to my bedroom and I locked the door and I grabbed the book, which is tried and true and started reading it again. And I just snapped a little picture and I put it on socials and said, this is what I’m doing instead of being out like in the vortex of adolescent energy. And I had a picture of her book and I must have tagged her, I can’t really exactly remember how this worked, but somehow, she saw that and came in and commented that she was happy to keep me company or something like that. And I was like, Oh, don’t think I’m going to grab on to this with both hands. And I think I forced us into a friendship. And we became friends and then we became real friends. It went more from being Internet friends to real friends, and we started collaborating together and working together and building things together. And she came to my house and we did a whole backyard event. 

We are so seamless together. You’re going to see this in the conversation. We just have this way about us where for some reason, when Kelly talks to me and says things, I am unable to procure any bullshit. Like in some ways, some people I’m able to just sort of smooth out an answer but not with her. She pulls something honest out of me and I think that the sum ends up being greater than its parts. Kelly and I did a whole tour together. We did a speaking tour together and it was just absolutely delightful. And we’re always dreaming stuff up together. I call her for things. 

She calls me. I’m literally her fan and her friend forever. So I’m not going to give away too much here because I think you’ll get a ton out of our very candid back and forth in these conversations over these next four weeks. We’re going to kick it off by discussing how we deal with change really in all of its forms. And as you know, I’ve had more than my share of change over the last two years. And guess what? I’m still here. Even when the change that happens feels like the walls are closing in or your life as you know it has been ruined beyond repair. If that is how you feel, I’m living proof that change can lead to the most beautiful outcomes even then. 

And I’m telling you, it’s not a Pollyanna take on it, because I know how hard change is, especially when we don’t expect it or we don’t want it or we didn’t choose it. At that point, it is hard to believe that something wonderful could occur. But I’m here to say something wonderful can emerge out of it. But we talk about this in all of its forms: the breaking, the chaos, the reshuffling, the “wondering if we’ll survive” phase. And I think you’ll be able to hear yourself in this convo because we’ve all been there in one way or another. Every one of us has experienced major change in our life. 

Okay, so that’s this week, but there is more. So we kick it off this week with change. That will be followed up next week by friendship. And then the following week, beliefs we hold dear. And then finally, week four, the men that we love. And that one might surprise you. I know you’ll want to stay around for that episode. It gets so real. 

So let’s get into it. Let’s talk about change. Because change has been for a while, a harsh taskmaster in my life. I have pride that I didn’t ever lose me. I never lost my own personal thread. But in a few other ways, I’m different emerging from that change in better ways, in good ways, and strong and powerful ways. I’m going to share what that looks like. And Kelly will share her biggest takeaway from a change in her life. And I hope this conversation will help you see the light or even a glimmer at the end of that dark change tunnel if that is something that you’re going through right now. So here we go. Our very first episode of For the Love of Conversations with Jen and Kelly, talking about the hard parts and the beautiful parts of change. 



Books & Resources Mentioned in this Episode:


Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking  by Susan Cain

The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan

Worst End of School Year Mom Ever by Jen Hatmaker

Simple Habit App 

Kate Baer



Stay Connected with Jen Hatmaker: 


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XO – Team Jen

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