Pursuing Uncomfortable with Melissa Ebken

Pursuing What's Next with Melissa and Gretchen

November 29, 2023 Melissa Ebken Season 9 Episode 12
Pursuing What's Next with Melissa and Gretchen
Pursuing Uncomfortable with Melissa Ebken
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Pursuing Uncomfortable with Melissa Ebken
Pursuing What's Next with Melissa and Gretchen
Nov 29, 2023 Season 9 Episode 12
Melissa Ebken

Melissa sits down with Gretchen Cromwell, who does all the transcripts for the podcast. Gretchen and Melissa discuss what surprised them along the way, some memorable guests, and what's next for Pursuing Uncomfortable.

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Show Notes Transcript

Melissa sits down with Gretchen Cromwell, who does all the transcripts for the podcast. Gretchen and Melissa discuss what surprised them along the way, some memorable guests, and what's next for Pursuing Uncomfortable.

Sign up for updates

Follow Gretchen:

Support the Show.

More From Melissa and Pursuing Uncomfortable:
fiLLLed Life Newsletter
Leave a review
Pursuing Uncomfortable Book

🎶 Podcast Intro: Welcome to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast, where we give you the encouragement you need to lean into the uncomfortable stuff life puts in front of you, so you can love your life. If you are ready to overcome all the yuck that keeps you up at night, you're in the right place. I am your host, Melissa Ebken let's get going. 🎶

Melissa Ebken  0:25 
Gretchen Cromwell, welcome to this side of the microphone.

Gretchen Cromwell  0:29 
Wow, hi.

Melissa Ebken  0:32 
This is a little different podcast today. We have recorded 108 episodes. This is number 108 going out today. And we're gonna give you a little different look. If you see me, if you watch on YouTube, you hear me during the podcast. But what you don't know, my friend Gretchen has done all of the transcripts. So any of you that look at a transcript, and the transcript isn't just for those who may want to check it out here and there. But the transcript is what the search engines use to know what the podcast to put in to optimize it as a crucial part of the success of the podcast. And I could not have done that without my friend Gretchen. Along the way, she has been encouragement, I don't know that I would have had the courage to start it without her. And I've turned to her for advice all along the way. So she has been a big part, not only in the podcast, but in the success of the podcast. And I'm really excited. I'm gonna stop talking here in a second. But it's really cool today to welcome Gretchen and we're gonna talk about some of our favorite episodes and different things that came up along the way. So Gretchen welcome to this side of the mic.

Gretchen Cromwell  1:51 
Hi. It's strange to be on this side of it. I've listened so many times so, obviously. Yeah, it's great.

Melissa Ebken  2:03 
You know, I obviously am present during the recording of the podcast. And I don't do a lot of editing. People, if they use a lot of ums or filler words, that's kind of on them. You know, I like the podcast to be just like a conversation. When we sit down and have a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, we don't speak perfectly, we have some of those filler words. And I just wanted it to feel like you and I were sitting down and having a chit chat. So you on the other hand, doing the transcription. You've listened to these episodes more than I have more than any of the other listeners do so.

Gretchen Cromwell  2:42 
Yeah. You're welcome. Sometimes I have to listen multiple times, because with different accents or just different ways that people speak in general, I have to listen again and again and again. How did they say that? And what exactly are they meaning? Because some cities and states and countries I don't know, I don't know their vernacular. So I have to listen multiple times to catch on.

Melissa Ebken  3:08 
And if they reference a place, that is familiar to them that may not be familiar to us, you probably have to do a quick web search to find very much so this place.

Gretchen Cromwell  3:20 
Yeah, very much. Yeah, there's a lot of places in Canada and England that I've never heard of. So, so I've looked them up, and even just different topics that they spoke about, I have to look it up. Because I don't know them.

Melissa Ebken  3:38 
What came as a surprise when you started doing this. What do you know, now that you didn't know, then that maybe surprises you a bit?

Gretchen Cromwell  3:50 
Um, I guess I didn't realize how much you probably and I don't know exactly how much you do, but a lot of the pre interview speak that you must have with the guests that you have, so that you know what exactly you might want to talk about to them. I am a person that listens to podcasts all day, every day. I'm at work, in the car, doing dishes. So I I hear so many different conversations and learn so much from podcasts, but it never occurred to me really what all might go into it beforehand. And now, on the back end of it. It's not just the conversation that we hear in that 30 to 60 minute conversation for podcasts. It there's so much more behind it, that I it never even occurred to me it was there.

Melissa Ebken  4:45 
You know, it's funny, you mentioned that because when I meet with people, I like to actually keep it brief. I like to find out that we have chemistry that we can have a conversation and it's not going to feel awkward or stiff or anything. So that's the main thing. And, honestly, I don't want to know a lot of their story before we record because I want to experience it fresh, just like the listener is experiencing it fresh. I want to be already processed the emotion, you know, as we're hearing them, and oh my goodness, that's a whole other. But actually, I don't spend much time at all beforehand. It's just let's sit down, let's talk as people speak, then we just let the conversation guide us. Okay. There is more after that, that a lot more that gets done that I didn't expect. And I started simple, just the podcast episode only. And then I had this brilliant idea. Since I had all the video footage, why not put it on YouTube? Yeah. And I realized, holy crap, I'm experiencing these emotions just like everybody else is. And I've got mascara running down my face, mask, brilliant idea to put this up.

Gretchen Cromwell  4:53 
That's good, though, makes it authentic.

Melissa Ebken  6:17 
It is, it is there's nothing put on. And I'm an emotional gal. So it was all it was all genuine. And then after that workflow, got comfortable, I added the blog. And that was at first just the transcript. And then the website I use, allowed other has other tools on it that allowed for an expanded version of the blog. And as I got comfortable with tools, I added things. And it was still a manageable workflow when we were in COVID, and coming out of COVID. But then later, like, holy moly, I've got a whole lot of sufft for each episode here. But it just with anything, you can do it keep it simple and have a quality product. Or you can add things and there were a lot of things I would have loved to have done. But at some point, you just got to say no, this is good. This is what it's gonna be. So

Gretchen Cromwell  7:18 
Well I've really enjoyed it. I've enjoyed the opportunity. I'm, I mean, I feel like I get to know these people right along with you and all the other listeners. And I feel like I've learned a lot from all of them.

Melissa Ebken  7:31 
Oh, me too. Me too. What are some of your favorite guests?

Gretchen Cromwell  7:36 
Well, I was looking back at some of them just to try and get an idea of ones I might like, and one that has, a couple of them that I have actually looked onto Instagram to try and follow just so that I can keep up with what they've been doing. One of them was Jan Stewart, she was in Season Six, Episode Six. She has she came from a the corporate world. And her and her husband had two children that have multiple mental disorders. And she has been struggling, no doubt. But she has found that it was really hard for parents to get information on how they should deal with being a support for their kids. So she is a new author. And she helps her kids to be good contributing people in society. Excuse me, I believe both of them have jobs. And even though they have things like Tourette's, and I can't believe I can't remember what else they had, but so many different challenges. And she was she and her husband both have been on boards and been great spokespersons for the different disorders so that parents don't feel lost when they get those diagnosis for their children. And I think that one was one that stood out really well to me. Do you remember her?

Melissa Ebken  9:20 
Oh my goodness. Do I? She I don't know how how she does it. Her kids had, they have ADHD. They have bipolar. One has Tourette's I don't know if both do but multiple mental illnesses and and other things and just raising a kid that would have one of those would be a challenge bigger than a lot of folks but to have all of that. And then Gretchen she had breast cancer too. Oh yeah. Had cancer and she has them neuropathy and things then she shared what's the process she goes through every morning just to wake up and to go to bed? And then to do what she does, and she does it so seamlessly. She's so amazing to me. Yeah, absolutely. To me as well.

Gretchen Cromwell  10:17 
Yeah. Yeah. What about you? What's one that you keep thinking back on?

Melissa Ebken  10:22 
Oh, man. What really got me and this was early on, it was Johnny McCoy. His, and this was divided up into two episodes, his abuse was so extensive and so profound. I was a wreck in doing the interview. And in fact, afterwards, I had to reach out to a friend for support emotionally. His story was just so, so much, and I worry about him. I tried to reach out to him recently and couldn't get a hold of him. And that could be for a lot of reasons. But I'm worried about him in the back of my mind if he's still around. If he sucumbs to that, yeah, that one really got me. And Perry Power, his story of sexual abuse, and the courage he has to write a book about it to pursue getting that to normalize people telling their stories, because so many people keep those stories hidden and covered up and the work he does encouraging people to share those stories and talk about them. He's at such a young age, such an amazing young man.

Gretchen Cromwell  10:22 
Yeah, he definitely stood out to me too.

Devon  10:56 
Hi, I want to take a quick moment and tell you about my mom. She's an amazing mom, and an amazing podcast host, isn't she? She's also amazing at helping people to understand and manage anxiety and to build a strong spiritual practice. She has online courses, books, and a lot of free resources and downloads to help you live an a amazing life. So please check out lightlifeandloveministries.com and her YouTube channel. The links are in the show notes.

Melissa Ebken  12:16 
And then, all of them, they all touched me in some way or another. Judy Orman, the most recent podcast, she was cool. I felt a little fan girl. I didn't know her before I met her but just her credential. Her journalistic career. And of course, I read her books, her fiction books and her nonfiction books. And they're amazing. I mean, she's a professional writer, for Pete's sake, though she Yeah, she was cool. There was so many.

Gretchen Cromwell  12:49 
I remember Geta. Also she was she spoke about gut health, and just how she had been adopted and moved to the United States. And basically, she just wouldn't give up in taking whatever diagnosis that others would give her. She made. She has become very good advocate for herself and gut health in general. I follow her also on Instagram. But it seems like we've we've had a lot of authors and a lot of people that were addicts or had life threatening illnesses, and they've all done, been able to pursue the uncomfortable and make quite a life for themselves. It's really neat.

Melissa Ebken  13:40 
The 100 The episode was Justin Bryan, and his story just really got me in my heart. He overcame addiction and all of his troubles and he was so vulnerable in his sharing. It was a powerful episode. That one is another one of my top ones. The guy Edward who went on a search for his biological mother, that was a fun mystery.

Gretchen Cromwell  14:12 
Yeah, that was fun.

Melissa Ebken  14:16 
I am so thankful for the people that reached out to to be on the podcast and the courage to share their stories I was really inspired and whenever I have something difficult that comes up it it that experience of meeting these folks on this podcast really has inspired me to to just grab a grab the bull by the horns, as they say, lean into it and do the hard things. And I go back and listen to some of these stories and say alright. This, this is nothing I can do this.

Gretchen Cromwell  14:51 
For sure. Just I mean think back to when we had babies and we were trying to potty train. You know, oh this, they're never gonna get it, they're never going to get it. Well, eventually they do, because most people have. So I mean, if we just think of how we hear of other people overcoming so many challenges, we just have to remember that and keep trying and keep pushing ourselves to do the best until we get the result that we're wanting.

Melissa Ebken  15:23 
And it's funny, you mentioned potty training, my mom gave me some amazing advice there. I was tired of paying for diapers, and I wanted to potty train my kid. And I asked my mom, I said, What's a good age to potty train him? Can I do it now? He turned, his birthdays in January. So he turned two you in January. And I didn't want to do it then because I wanted to use our front porch. So living in Central Illinois, May seem like a much better option. And I'll never forget what she said. She said, listen, he's ready anytime. It's just like the person that has to be ready is you. When you decide you're ready, he'll be fine. Yeah. Yeah, she was. She nailed that one for sure. Yeah, that's good. Gretchen, what is a time in your life when you had to overcome something that you weren't sure was going to happen?

Gretchen Cromwell  16:23 
Oh, my gosh. Um, I guess one thing, I don't even know which, so many of that are flooding my mind. One is having my first child. All I ever wanted to be when I was growing up as a mom, and got married and tried to in 2005. And about 2006, I thought, well, I want to have a baby, you know, and that's what I wanted to be. So I thought, well, this'll be when it happens, you know, 2006 will be mom and dad. And 2007 came, 2008 came, and still nothing. And I just had to learn that I needed to be happy for others as that came in their life, and happy with my husband and our life, regardless, and just be trusting that God had the time that it was going to be right for us. And just living our lives and doing the best that we could until then. And then in 2009, we were blessed with our first. And that has been wonderful. And of course, then you want another one. And you have to remember after a year of trying that, it's not as easy. And so 2014, we finally had our second one with many years of prayers, and many years of trying and hoping and so just just live your days with the hope that it will come and and know that it doesn't, it's about our timing, and I wouldn't trade it for anything now. The opportunity to spend four years with just my husband, the opportunity for five years with just one child. It's been wonderful. So it's hard when it's not what you wanted, or what you thought you wanted but,

Melissa Ebken  18:32 
And I'm glad for the delay, because that meant we get to have our kids. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Yeah, it took us a while to and that was such a hard time. I think for women. You know, we need to be a part of that club, if we want to, not all women want to. But for those of us that wants to be in the mom club. When that doesn't come right away, it's hard. And having to wait you, gosh you reevaluate everything. Oh, yeah. It's hard to celebrate for your friends even though you want to. And it's in you, you're so thrilled for them, but then that ache in your own heart is hard, for sure. Yeah. But your boys are perfect. I'm glad you have the boys you do. Me too. So what would you share with other folks that are in that space? And you did a little bit about, you know, there's other timing, waiting on God. But if there was a mom that came to you today and say, Hey, I heard you on the podcast and I'm in this spot. What would you say to her?

Gretchen Cromwell  19:44 
Um, I think I would say there's things in your life that you planned to have, but it may not be what ends up being. And if you only have your heart set on that, then you're are wasting the time that you have here to enjoy so many other things that you could do and be a support to others for. And what if you think back on your life, it's easier when you're older to look back and think, Well, about that time, I'm glad that prayer wasn't answered. And I'm so many glad, so glad many other things came instead of it. But I think I would just tell them to count their blessings. And you can keep that prayer going. But know that if it doesn't happen, it's not the end of the world, and that there are other blessings that can be in your life. And you can be a blessing to many others in life. Even without that.

Melissa Ebken  20:46 
This is why I'm so pleased to have you on my life. Wisdom. And be jealous friends, because she's my friend. We are friends. But yeah. And honestly, I wouldn't have started this journey without ya., I needed that confidence of somebody else that I can see right in front of me and encouraging. And your advice has been spot on the whole time. I'm glad I listened.

Gretchen Cromwell  21:16 
Oh, thank you. Like I said, I listen to a lot of podcasts. So

Melissa Ebken  21:23 
did you ever imagine we'd have over 100 of these?

Gretchen Cromwell  21:26 
No. Can't wait for the next 100 though.

Melissa Ebken  21:30 
I think after releasing one every single week is then December of 2021. We're gonna take a break. But yeah, yeah. I can't wait to see what the future holds. And everyone has an opportunity to stay in the loop. In the show notes, there's a link that you can click on and you'll be on a waiting list. You'll get all the news for the podcast, so, as soon as we know when the next season is starting and who the guests are, you're gonna know too. So make sure you click that link. And it's just your name and email, you'll I'm not going to email you all the time, Gretchen's not going to email you all the time, but we want to you know, you're not going to be forgotten either will send out something at least once a month to say, hey, here's what we're thinking or here's what you can expect. Just so you know, when we'll be back and look forward to what we've got in store. So make sure you click that link. Gretchen, what would you like to see happen with the podcast?

Gretchen Cromwell  22:35 
Well, I'm really into agriculture. So I think I would like to hear more from farmers. I think we know a couple, but not including myself. I don't think I need to be on here as a farmer. But I know that there have got to be some in our even, I mean, we're in farming communities, that we should be able to hear some from that for sure. Maybe ones that have made it from '88 on, you know, back when 80 in 88 when there was drought, and it was a big struggle, and through the different times and changes that have gone on. I think maybe more that have, like I like I did struggled with fertility, and maybe some that have struggled with marriages that have the success stories that can be a good example to others who may be struggling in different parts of their life.

Melissa Ebken  23:36 
Yeah, you know, I also had a miscarriage in that journey. And that was that was hard, but one of the more profound things that helped me get through it when people in my church, they all came and I mean the church was packed when that happened. And so many women stood there and shared with me their stories of miscarriage while their kids are running around the church. Yeah, that was powerful. It's those stories that really bolster us and yeah, this is why that was really what I was hoping would be at the at the core of this podcast is that someone would find themselves in these stories and get a little hope a little a little consolation that they're not in it alone that others have done this and be inspired that they can. Yeah. But now farmers I got through '88. You know where I was in 1988? The basic training the summer of '88. So yes, I do know about the heat and the drought of '88 then yeah.

Gretchen Cromwell  24:51 
Well, and it could be people as they take over the family farm or you know, just different are starting from scratch. Because I didn't grow up on a farm, but my neither did my husband, but we have our own farm now. And just seeing how people can get into an industry that is either something that people generally inherit, or go severely into debt for. It's really inspiring to hear how you can make your own way, just by trying hard and starting small and working insanely hard.

Melissa Ebken  25:35 
And I know a lot of those folks and they've shared their stories with me of taking over the family farm from their parents, and then the the difficulty of letting go to let their son or their child take over from them though so that would be a fantastic episode or maybe episodes. It would be fun to get a group of those together and have them together on the podcast.

Gretchen Cromwell  25:59 
Yeah, for sure. Even just a 10 minute clip of one or for each farmer doing a 10 minute segment kind of thing. Yeah.

Melissa Ebken  26:09 
I'd like to do a podcast with some folks that have been caregivers for aging parents that have dementia, Alzheimer's, that, Yeah, that get to be parents to their parents. Yeah, that would be good, too. Yeah, I think more and more that's becoming commonplace is just another stage of life having to care for your parents. Yeah. Firing. Yeah. And, you know, I'd love to hear the what our listeners like too so yeah, email us. Let us know what your interests are, what kind of stories you would like to hear. That's really what we want to do. Right? For sure. All right. Well, Gretchen, do you have any last words before we end today?

Gretchen Cromwell  26:57 
Thank you, everybody, for listening. It's been really fun. And I hope you've learned a lot. And please do give us some suggestions on what you would like to hear so that we can keep this going. Keep Melissa busy. And me busy!

Melissa Ebken  27:14 
My friend Gretchen needs some transcription time. Awesome. And in to to the person listening. Thank you. Thank you for being on this journey with us. Some of you have reached out and those are golden. I love hearing from you. I love to hear what you liked what you don't like what you want more of. This is an endeavor that exists for you. So please let us know what you what you want more of and if you want to encourage us we're open for that too, encouragement. So that make sure you click that link in the show notes so you stay in the loop and we will have more for you in this coming year. And we'll let you know when that is. Alright, Gretchen See you soon friend. Alrighty, take care. Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. If this encouraged you, please consider subscribing to our show and leaving a rating and review so we can encourage even more people just like yourself. We dropped the new episode every Wednesday so I hope you continue to drop in and to be encouraged to lean into and overcome all the uncomfortable stuff life brings your way.

🎶 Episode Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. If this encouraged you, please consider subscribing to our show and leaving a rating and review so we can encourage even more people just like yourself. We drop a new episode every Wednesday so I hope you continue to drop in and be encouraged to lean into and overcome all the uncomfortable stuff life brings your way. 🎶