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Et tu, Peter Pan?

A strand of white hair discreetly out of sight. Hairline barely moved an inch since puberty. Pockmarks sporadically documenting a childhood disease, a lost love and a lifetime gained, a marriage and two sons after, all smoothed out by off-the-shelf self-prescription topicals.

While a friend-contemporary is out on leave to decide if the floor tiles are to be grey or white and ask if the contractor will arrive today, I was poring over trade books and modifying my mood board to see what can make our rented house an oasis of calm. Contemplating on those three-foot lamps and a wooden baul, yes I can afford them. But how can I carry them when I don't have a car and the agent doesn't deliver in my area?

Houses and cars. Adult things-to-do. I think I am the youngest 28-year old in the world.

Barbra Streisand's character in "Meet the Fockers" says getting your girlfriend pregnant before you get married is a sign of a man's sexual prowess. Ok, done that. After the baby is born, time for some serious business and it was fortunate enough that we were both financially established. On to some serious stuff, we decided we cannot live on both sides and might as well make it on our own.

28 years. I should have been past the quarter-life crisis technically, and my legacy are two young men who will carry my name to fame--showbiz, politics or otherwise. Other than that, something to own, something with four walls or four wheels are not yet in place. While others of my age (or even younger) have become citizens of the world or bought a franchise of Waffle Time, I am stuck in a provincial economic zone, barking marching orders to the rank and file, receive my salary bi-monthly, pay the bills, buy groceries and cook chicken.

My means of increasing in value is every year during salary adjustments and if business is bad, by jumping ship to a high-paying job. My timelines are three years apart, give or take, unlike the five-year or ten-year plan that most of you may have answered to in an interview. Like the Chinese, I yearn to make it on my own in a sea of others-who-have-made-it, before I turn thirty. At the back of my mind while hating the idea that I am at the mercy of the bell curve of performance appraisals, I want to be in control. Childish innocence may be fun, at times cute but when push comes to shove, I want to be in control.

I willed that I look young for my age, and that's what others see, and I think this is the manifestation that everything around me is at a standstill.

Or maybe, that tin of Nivea really works.

“Et tu, Peter Pan?”