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Reflecting on road not taken

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 11:00 a.m. CDT

The old clichés, such as “hindsight is always 20/20” and “the road not taken” oftentimes ring true. They really hit me smack dab in the face last weekend during my trek back home to Kansas City.

My friend and I were hanging out downtown with some young women from Boston (which also made me realized I could never be seriously involved with a woman from the East Coast) when we went past the Power and Light District. At that moment, I had a flashback.

Last Halloween, my friends and I, fully costumed of course, were walking toward PNL when I ran into an old lady friend. She looked great, as always, and I never really thought much of that incident because I was involved with someone at that moment in time.

However, last Friday, as I had the charms of a Boston accent and the jaded views East Coasters hold towards Midwesterners front and center, I began to think about the girl from last Halloween.

You see, she and I had started dating in late fall of 2011, and in Feb. 2012, she wanted me to make a decision about where we were going — and I did. I’m starting to see now that maybe it wasn’t the correct choice.

This girl was everything I look for in a woman. She was in school, had goals and ambitions, her own car and place, worked, cooked, knew how to treat a man and — most importantly — she loved Dollar Tree and the Chiefs!

She was originally from Arkansas, but spent about half of her life in Kansas City, which gave her a great mix of Southern and Midwestern manners and hospitality. I got her into Game of Thrones (yes, I pretty much make any young lady I date watch or read whatever I’m into it at the time, so don’t judge me) and I even let her talk me into something I swore I would never do. She got me to watch the first “Twilight” movie.

It was worse than I ever imagined it would be.

Minus her love of “Twilight,” she seemed like the perfect girl for me, right? Well, because I’m such a difficult man at times, I held two things against her that prevented us from becoming a couple.

The first was that she lived in Belton, which was about 40 minutes away from my place in Shawnee.

The other thing I held against her was our schedules. At the time, I was going to school in the days, working at nights and writing for my university’s newspaper. She was working full-time, taking care of her mom and going to school full-time, as well.

My rationale was it wouldn’t work because we wouldn’t see each other enough and that if I was going to be with someone, I wanted to be with them pretty frequently. Well to that I say “25-year-old Ty, you’re an idiot.”

Don’t get me wrong, I see and understand younger Ty’s point of view, however, living here in Iowa, I drive long distances  for just about everything. It’s not as bad as 25-year-old Ty thought it would be. It can be annoying driving 80 miles round trip for a haircut, but it’s something that needs to be done.

I’m astounded that I can drive 80 miles round trip for haircut now, but I couldn’t do it to potentially have something special with a girl who meets all of my criteria. As I said, younger me was an “idiot.”

I take this incident as one of my life lessons and I will learn from it, like I try to do from all of my mistakes. On a lighter note, the Chiefs are 4-0. I’m sure she’s somewhere smiling about that, just like I’m doing up here.

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