The first time I felt I had control of my life was the day I turned 18 years old. I made plans with three of my friends to become roommates and together, we’d live in this awesome giant loft. So, we did but you always forget about the adulting part. At the time, we all had jobs. I worked at the mall because that was the cool thing to do. I had my own car, my own place and I could do anything I wanted. It felt amazing. Then, the bills started coming in. Reality hit me that I had to start doing adult things, like paying bills on time, getting groceries, learning a routine. All these things gave me the satisfaction of feeling like an adult. I had the freedom to do what I wanted, when I wanted and it felt great.
Like at any young age, you learn really fast not to take advantage of it because things can go wrong really fast and you learn some tough life lessons. By the time I was 20, I felt established as an adult. I learned how to maintain my life even with the everyday struggles.
By the age of 25, I knew I had full control of my life. My hobby became my full-time job. I went from being a graffiti writer to becoming a legit person in the art scene. I had all my responsibilities taken care of. I held down a job and worked a second job doing paintings on the side. it felt good and it made me feel like I found myself as an individual and what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I knew for sure that I was in control and what my destiny was going to be. It’s funny how things can change.
Despite my accident, I’m still doing what I was destined to do: painting. Regardless of the situation, we always figure out how to do things we love. So, embrace your passions and your hobbies, no matter your circumstances. If there’s a will, there’s always a way.
About Jesse Cuellar: Jesse is an artist and a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab®. An accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, so he uses his mouth to paint and expresses himself through his art. Jesse lives in St. Louis, Missouri, and enjoys painting and hanging out with his friends. Click here to learn more about Jesse.