Monday, April 23, 2012

The One About Transitions.

This should not be confused with transition defense, which I'm terrible at.

Wow.

I'd say that's all I'm able to say...but we all know that it's me, and that won't happen.

I posted a blog last Wednesday, about a tragedy that had befallen our hometown. If you haven't read it, go do so here, and this post might make more sense. It was a blog that was tough to write, but not for the conventional reasons that are normally associated with chronicling death. It was tough to write about because I was fighting my narcissistic nature the entire time that I wrote it. In fact, at one point, after having spent about 3 hours writing and deleting and rewriting, I finally had to walk away.

I'm so glad I walked away. You see, what I was writing was full of the word "I" and "me" and my thoughts and memories and opinions. And in the end, I'm not the person I needed to be writing about. So after spending a short time in prayer, I started all over. I listened to this song, and I allowed God to show me how he could be glorified, which inspired me to write the words that so many of you took the time to read and share. In fact, here are some of the numbers from the post, On Tragedy.

It has been viewed 2300 times in the last five days.
It has been viewed in 226 cities in 29 countries on 6 continents (the only one missing is Antarctica, and I can't blame them really, getting an ISP out there is tough).
It has been shared 430 times on Facebook.
It has accounted for 5% of all my blog traffic in the past three years.

Those are the stats as of right now. Even as I'm typing this, I'm checking my real-time data on the analytics website, and people are still drifting on and off the page. And seriously, as much as I've always loved blog traffic and numbers, I've realized two amazing things that I love more.

  1. The gospel message has been viewed 2300 times in the last five days. I've not been given any knowledge whatsoever that there have been decisions for Christ made as a result, but I like to think there have been. 
  2. The family has been completely unanimous in their expression that the post gave them peace and comfort. 
They buried Kambrin today. No one has given me an official attendance count, but I'd say somewhere in the neighborhood of eight hundred were there. There was standing room only in even the overflow room. There were a lot of tears, but even more laughter. We got to hear her uncles tell stories, and remind us all that she wasn't here anymore, but that we'd see her again one day. 

We drove out to the cemetery. My family gathered around my dad's grave briefly before the internment, and...we laughed. We joked about the size of coffin I'm going to need when I die. We talked about putting all four of us boys into a giant crypt with bunk beds in it, just like our room used to be. When the family arrived, we gathered closely around them and tried to give them comfort. There was more laughter, there were more tears. And then it was over. 

And because I absolutely deplore anyone who I feel is "cashing in" on tragedy, that's the last you'll ever hear of Kambrin on this blog. 

And so here I am. I'm sitting at home, much like five evenings ago, and faced with the most stress I've ever had when typing up a blog. In fact, I've been telling my wife all week that I have no idea how I'm ever going to write a new post. I'm wrestling with transitions. 

You see, a lot of people who have never seen this site before have been here in the last few days. More are on the way. I know that, because today I was asked at least five times what a "blog" was, and then asked for specific directions on how to get here. If you're reading this, I guess you made it. Thanks.

But it's in all that traffic where the problem lies. You see, I've not always been a "spiritual" blogger. I've always had and openly talked about my faith, but I haven't always represented it with the cleanest stories, language, or subject matter. If you look through my archives, you'll see posts littered with profanity, off-color humor, and several other things that would offend a great many "church folk," and my mom. 

I could go back through the posts and delete the worst ones, and I might still do that. I could also go back through and edit out all the foul language and use words like "pickles" and "dangit" and "fudge." And I might still do that as well. I haven't made a final decision though. You see, those posts, those stories, they represent a part of me. They let people know (if any still exist that think it) that I'm not perfect. I have a history. And it's not a "before Christ" history either. I've been a Christian for twenty four years now. It was simply a time where I was not as close to God as either one of us would have liked for me to have been. 

I will say this though. If you think I'm going to turn my little piece o' the internets into something other than a humor blog, you're dead wrong. You see, tragedy and comedy are a lot alike. In fact, you can't have one without the other. They are intertwined with each other, and both will ultimately lead to the other. So we'll go on laughing here. We'll go on telling stories about the athlete refusing to die and the fact that I'm a crybaby, or the time when I got what I deserved

For you rookies that might still be reading this, if you click the blue text, it'll take you to some funny stories. 

Will as many people see this post as the one before it? I'd be crazy to think that. Will this post be shared 430 times on Facebook? Maybe by me...but that's it. But the people that matter will be here. And they'll read it, and they'll know that even though I have a past, and even though I can form letters into words which might bring peace and comfort to some, ultimately I'm Travis Sloat, I'm a Christian, I'm proud to say my hometown is Okay, Oklahoma, This blog and I are a work in progress, sometimes I cuss a little, I love you all, and...I like to fish.  


How you doin'?

(Picture enlarged to show sexiness)

3 comments:

  1. Get out of my head Travis. I think I am in a lot of transitions as well. speaking of which you don't have my new blog address do ya.. http://singedwingangelspad.com
    I know all to well the choices I have made and the mistakes where I have fallen short. We are never going to be perfect until we are in heaven. People seem to think that we can't have fun as Christians, but the one we follow tells us laughter is the best medication, it doeth a heart good. They think we should have it all together, but Paul said even he had a thorn in his flesh that beset him daily. They think that our rules are too hard, well I only recall 2 Love God above all else and love others as Christ loved us, unconditionally, right where they are. They think they need to 'clean up' before they come to Christ, if we did it on our own we wouldn't need a savior. They often miss the beauty for trying to nitpick the message. Sadly, religion has been the root of the problem. We have forgotten that Jesus said he came NOT to make a new religion but to restore the relationship. To Bridge the gap for everyone. Here is praying for your transition as you pray for me in mine..

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  2. T, I like where your life journey is taking you. Since you have returned to blogging I have seen a growth in you that make me proud (I know that was your goal in life). I have laughed to teas over some of your older post, but really respect your writing now. You have a gift. As for changing your older stuff, I say don’t. It can be used as a measure to show how much you have grown and changed. Kinda like an old Navy buddy of mine. One night in Long Beach, we were drunk and he wanted a tattoo. So off we go to the tat shack were he chooses to put on his left upper arm a red devil, bald headed, forked tail and pitchfork in his hand with a sly grin on his face. Under the little devil’s tail was written, “Born To Raise Hell.” That was almost 50 years ago and he is now a Pentecostal Preacher in SC. He uses the tat as part of his witnessing. You could do the same with your post…and give a few hardnosed peeps a laugh at the same time. I do look forward to your post now days.

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  3. You are such a gifted writer - thank you for sharing so openly! I pray your words continue to impact lives for Christ. And, personally, I'm happy the blog will still be a humor blog - I need the laughs! :)

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The price for my stories is your conversation.