The Road to Amador Blah Blah Blog Episode 1
The Road to Amador Blah Blah Blog Episode 1
In June 2009, I was swept off my feet when I met professional skateboarder, Jon Allie. The union of our two spirits was filled with wanderlust and synchronicity. It seemed that the more we opened up to each other, the more we found in common. Our love story unfolded like a nostalgic, California fairy tale and we quickly realized that we were made for one another.
On a balmy Wednesday afternoon, I was driving to Jon’s house for the first time and I made a left turn onto Amador Avenue in Vista, California. In the moment, the name has so intrigued me - little did I know that this would later be the place I’d fall in love and become my home. a. Amador means Lover. My first thought was, “My Lover Lives on Amador Avenue.” This romantic idea planted itself in my mind.
In the following months, the love between Jon and I flourished. One night, after getting home from hanging out with him, I was inspired to make him a large card. I taped two large pieces of sketchbook paper together. I collaged, painted, and poured my soul into this card. It seemed in this moment, in which hours had passed, time stood still and I was completely lost in flow. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was expressing myself for the first time in a form that seemed to fuse all of my creative gifts. It was overwhelmingly satisfying to create something that fully felt like a true expression of me. It brought together my love for quick, intuition driven art, poetry, sketching and finally, connecting with a written message for my new boyfriend.
I had created the very first “Amador” card and when I gave it to him, he too fell in love.
Over the years, when the inspiration struck, I would make him cards. I distinctively remember creating an Easter card with two bunnies holding an egg in between their bellies (kinda like sumo wrestlers). He didn’t even celebrate Easter, but it just seemed like a cute idea. Of course, I colored it in my perfectly imperfect style and he fell in love again, keeping it on his night stand for two weeks following Easter. I had found a divine and natural way to express my love and a way to physically capture the inspiration brought on by our new life together. Jon would say to me, “You should sell your cards,” or “I wish I could buy one of these for you.” I brushed it off, not thinking anything of it at the time.
After three years of dating, when Jon proposed, I was a fanatic about getting engaged. Oh gosh, I couldn’t wait to buy wedding magazines, try on dresses and see the type of engagement ring he had chosen. I walked around with my Polaroid camera in my purse and manicured hands for six months - a representation of my perfectionist tendencies at the time. Of course,it happened unexpectedly, with grown out nails, when I was completely relaxed and not expecting him to propose. That’s the thing about my life, the things that I want or I’m yearning for, only come when I am most relaxed, letting things happen, and I am fully living in the moment.
After Jon and I were married, I had already committed to living a creative life at this point. I was working on a novel for two years. This chapter of my life was all about control. Everything had to be perfect. The main character’s best friends name changed 10 times, the entire manuscript was gone over dozens of times. I spent a year working on this novel and another year editing it. Talk about needing to fully be in control of an expression. Within months of having sent the manuscript out to more than fifty agents,the stress of trying so incredibly hard to get it “right” finally got to me. I got diagnosed with cancer.
Jon always said he would always support me, no matter what I wanted to do, but to be honest, I think that during this time, seeing the stress I bought on myself with the novel - he was ready to tell me to stop. Before he even said anything, I knew it. I felt heartbroken by life.
The Universe went even further and gave me a lesson that stopped me in my tracks. At 28 years old, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. After only two years into being married and I had cancer! Our life was supposed to be just starting- I had just finished my novel and was still looking for a book deal.
Nope. life was not having it. The truth was, I was too stressed out and trying too hard to control everything. I quickly embraced the lesson. I had been sick with mysterious health issues for six months. I knew I was very sick and for some reason, when I was diagnosed, I had a strong moment of clarity, where my intuition fully turned on and I woke up with a big “ah-ha moment.” Although I was living a creative life, I was not surrendering to creativity, but rather trying to control it.
During chemo, I made thank you cards for friends who sent me care packages. It had been about a year since I’d been sick and I was yearning for creativity again. It was beautiful, what happened again, I was lost in time, completely in the flow of making something special through expressive arts. I was in my element with glue on my fingers watching glitter land in the perfect places. Jon said to me, you really should start a card company.
This time, it felt different. Life was teaching me a lesson. There was a reason I had gotten sick.I had stressed myself out, running ragged in a life that was meant to be delightful and enjoyed. It was decided that I would spend my days in recovery collaging and reconnecting with my love of making art. This time however, my creative expression would be fun, playful, and it would be relaxed.
I liked the idea of creating with intention and a sense of purpose. I had spent years making cards for Jon, my family and friends. I had sketch books filled with ideas and inspiration. Of course I had big dreams and in the beginning months, I was coming out of the most difficult experience of my life. But designing a line of greeting cards gave me a way to express myself, to heal, and to share my new lease on life with the world.
When you hold an Amador card, you might feel something. That’s because instead of just a card, it is an invitation to connect, an invitation to be inspired and physically engage with life. My intention is to create a canvas for your expression, a house for a love note that will be cherished as a memento for years to come.
If you observe the flow of my pen stroke, it is very relaxed -imperfect. That’s the point, to chill into the moment, to attract the right person and express something that comes naturally. Intuition and inspiration is a consequence that comes naturally from being present.
It’s funny how life turns out, when you are trying to control things, they don’t work out.They seem to run further and further away from you. I couldn’t see it at the time, but the inspiration that lead to Amador Collective was initiated on my first visit to Jons, the moment I turned onto “Amador Avenue” and saw the street sign. Now, I flow with the moment, the inspiration comes to me. I am relaxed and move forward graciously, inviting and inspiring all of my friends who are in search of meaningful connection and expression.