Bible Studies and Talks of Death
I think about dying alot.
It's not what you think. Yes, if you looked back into my old Facebook pictures and if you mined the internet and somehow found my old MySpace account, you would see I had some pretty sweet Scene Hair and a wicked lip ring. But by saying, "I think about dying a lot," I don't mean that I want to die.
I get stomach aches.
Really bad ones. For no reason. And they're terrible. I've been to a few doctors and none of them can really tell me what's wrong (one doctor literally shrugged his shoulders and made that weird "I DUNNO" sound). Thanks to the internet and Web MD (and all those SUPER reliable resources), I pretty much always think I have cancer or that a small alien is living inside of me. It's fine.
But I think about how if one day, I get a call and the doctor says, "Hey you're dying. Get your things in order because there is nothing we can do." What would I do? Or worse, what if tomorrow I just don't wake up. All the plans I had have now ended. The people I promised I would make plans with next week, well, that's not going to happen. What would my family do? My friends? The people depending on me? What happens to everything that I had put in place for myself and for my company? What are people gonna say at my funeral? Is there gonna be a funeral? Will anyone come?
SIDE NOTE: If I die before any of you and I do have a funeral, I'm going to need you guys to party so hard for me. Strobe lights. Fog machine. Maybe call Chance the Rapper and tell him I was really cool and get him to sing a beautiful tune on the piano about how much I love high fives.
I have a little Bible study on Thursday nights.
If you're in the Orange County area and you're free on Thursday nights at 7, consider this an invitation. Really it's a, "Read one line out of the Bible and dissect it for 2 hours over coffee and cigarettes, talk about how something written in a completely different time than actually applies to us, and make jokes about pronouncing the word 'Phoenicia' wrong" group.
But I have this group and we were talking about what the word "Legacy" means. The definition is this:
To me, leaving a legacy behind when I'm gone is more than just handing a responsibility down. I mean, yeah the definition is right there. Black and white. Done. But I think because every day I get on my bike, or wake up at 3 AM with this unknown pain, or go outside-I think to myself, "Okay don't die." I ALSO think to myself "But what if..."
So we're talking about this big heavy word, "Legacy" and how it's not really an active thing that any of us are constantly thinking about, you know? It's not like you go to 711 for a pack of smokes, or chips, or that purple flavored Gatorade and you say, "Oh man, I hope that when I die, people remember that I loved Gatorade. The purple one. Not that whack green one." But here's the thing:
When you have an impact on people, when you make an impression on them. They remember things about you that you may think are insignificant. People that you invest in, treat well, treat poorly, bail on, carve time out for, and everything else under the sun, remember.
That's your legacy.
And a legacy doesn't even have to be about when you die. You don't have to be gone forever for that legacy to come into play. You're building it now. Congratulations on your legacy. Go you.
When Cory and I started this company, I just wanted a place to hang out with my friends, get coffee, talk about bike stuff, and maybe install a pool table so I didn't have to pay for it when we went to The Huddle. But the more and more I realized how many facets of BlackCat there are, especially now, the more I realized that a legacy is what you're putting your actual time into.
I find myself constantly asking questions like: How am I treating people? How will they associate me with this company and is my company's mission statement congruent to how I am as a person?
Which is weird. I get that. But this is how I've started to operate, especially after realizing that BlackCat could actually be something that ISN'T just operated of my house one day.
More and more I am realizing that this blog is more for me than anything or anyone else. I love we have had the absolute privilege to have some of the best writers I have ever known to contribute, and I find myself learning something from them every time we speak. But when I write here, and I word-vomit all over the place, I think that unloading all of this information is a way for me to actually organize what's going on in my head and hope that just one person out there reads it and says, "I know exactly what you mean." or "This doesn't make any sense, can you unpack this for me?"
I built this company on the hope of building relationships and taking care of people. I build my relationships with the hope that if I am gone one day, whether it be due to alien abduction or I burned my house down with my coffee roaster, that the legacy I left behind was more than just a coffee shop and some sweet jokes (Even though both of those things are very important to me) and that it motivates and inspires someone trying to figure out their way, to do it.
You're gonna die. We're all going to die. That's super cool. What're you leaving behind? What did you do while you were here? What are you going to do now?
Happy Wednesday. --Nick