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Greetings dear reader. I turn 50 next Friday. A year ago I didn’t give it a thought. It was too far away.Over the last week, however I have found myself being rather reflective. The good, the bad and all of the bits in the middle.

I’ve read a rather unorthodox life to say the least. I have done & seen things that not many people my age have seen or done. I emigrated from Scotland in 1979 at the age of 12 years old. I assimilated easily by adopting an Australian accent. Recently I reverted to my Scottish accent.

I played in many rock bands from the age of 16 to 22. I am a retired Registered Nurse of 22 years. I was an alcoholic for 20 years. I’m divorced with 2 children, have played the acoustic circuit and was diagnosed with bipolar one year after getting sober. I am now a recording artist and writer. I live alone and rather enjoy it for the best part. I’m not much of a social creature but when I’m forced, I’ll go through the motions.

Of all of my exploits, I have narrowed down my way of living to one word. Act.

Playing in rock bands and doing the acoustic circuit, you’re acting. You put on the enthusiasm that you had the previous night as you’re playing to a different crowd. You act grateful for the same sorts of accolades that you received the night before.

When you’re nursing you pretend to care when you enter a ward full of sick & dying patients & relatives when all the while you’re wondering if your load of wood will be delivered on time as you’re almost out.

Being an alcoholic you’re acting big time. You want to be drunk without being noticed. That’s a tricky one….& you will get tripped up at some point, one day or another.

Having bipolar makes you a great actor by default. If you’re feeling low, you don’t want people to know so you ‘force’ yourself to appear normal. If your running high you have to reign yourself in and shut up. Added to this is the fact that I find most people boring, hence I wear prescription sunglasses a lot so they can’t see my bored, glazed eyes. This may sound arrogant. It’s not. The problem lies with me, not them.

So what I have been doing most of my life is acting. Why? Easy. I have no idea who I am. It’s all very well to say, “Just be yourself.” I have no idea who ‘myself’ is. I know he’s likeable, intelligent & isn’t evil but I haven’t got a clue who I am.

I act.