The night I was born, the whole country was under curfew imposed by the military. My dad had to raise a white cloth on his car approaching the military control unit. Thankfully they understood and the police escorted our car to the nearest clinic.

 

I was born on a spring night in 1976 at 4:25am in Santiago, Chile.

 

Although my brother was expecting and exited to get a little brother, he refused when the nurse ask him if he wanted her to exchange me for a boy. He chose my name: Carolina.

 

I spent my first 11 years in Santiago, Chile. I attended a women only Franciscans Sisters private school from kindergarten to the 3/4 of my 5th grade. I liked to spent vacation and holidays with my grand parents. By this year I had travelled twice from Santiago to Sao Paulo on a rented bus with 45 of our friends and family.

 

For political reasons, in February 1987, my dad took a plane heading London, England but changed his mind and got off in Montreal. My mom realizing that it will take at least 5 years for him to claim us, she decided to get to him however she could so in October 1987 my mom left Santiago with me, age 10, and my brother, age 15. We took a plane to New York, stayed in New Jersey for one month and four days before my 11th birthday; we crossed from the US border, walking, to Canada. Canadia did let my brother and me to be refugees but not my mom. Since she is responsible for us, we couldn’t enter to Canada without her but they gave my mom another chance four days after my 11th birthday.

We arrived in Montreal in November. It was very cold for me and found the city to be very dark.

 

Two weeks after our arrival, Quebec government chose a public school for me. I attended a very weird school for me at that time to learn French. English school was out of the question for immigrants like me according some provincial regulations. I had to attend 10 months of language school before attending regular school. My brain being in a survival state, I was ready in 3 months. I chose to continue for my 10 months to be completed, so instead of going to 5th grade I made it to 6th grade, 7 months later.

 

I attended two different French High Schools in which the students spoke more English than French. Just after finishing my French language school, I had to learn English. I refused to and skipped almost all of my English classes. But did learn it anyway with the help of my good friend Erin, all the other students and trying to catch up with the TV series and shows they used to watch.

 

I went back to Chile for the first time in 1992. Spent the summer with my grand parents and cousins. I gained 7 kilos in 2 months eating chilean bread and my grand mother’s delicious food.

 

After High School, in 1994, I attended College learning the only class I loved; Biology to become a Medical Laboratory Technician. I couldn’t picture myself working in a closed environment all day and I felt very different than the teachers and other students. I went back to Chile again that first summer and decided to not return to College on September.

In January 1996, I took a step back and went to a professional high school and felt in love with apple computers and what you could do with them. I became a Infographist.

 

Having my first paid checks, I visited Mexico and Spain (the love of my life).

 

I had to learn more and get better in conception and design so with my very small before-college-degree I sent my application to the University and got accepted with a 100% grade on my portfolio. I had so much fun in those three years. Learned so much. Met very influential and hard working people. I graduated from UQAM’s school of design with a bachelor degree in 2001.

 

In the middle of my Bachelor I visited Portugal and went back to Chile again. I worked as a graphic designer from 2001 to 2002. In January 2003, I left for Barcelona to attend two post-graduated schools to learn graphic production and advertising communication. I went back that same year with two postgraduate degrees. 

 

From 2003 I have been working as a Graphic Designer and Art Director in various industries and branches of graphic design.

 

In2009, I took a class to learn about marketing in fashion. I started designing prints for garments and being doing it since then.

 

Today I am freelancing in different fields of design working from home or on the road. Right now I am designing for clients in Africa and living it too.

 

 

(this is my short story)