When I first sat down to write this, I expected to put together a cynical piece on the horrors of the “ring by spring” phenomenon put in place by a patriarchal society. But I couldn’t do it. I literally couldn’t bring myself to write anything. Optimism eventually overpowered my perpetual pessimism, and I ended up learning a little bit about myself.

I’ve always had this idea that I would live my life from adventure to adventure. If someone wanted to marry me, that would be pretty cool—but the adventures had to come first. And because of that, I couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to hurry his or her life and get married at a young age. Why rush to grow up when there is so much left to do as a twenty-something? Why fall for this silly idea of a ring by spring?

But I quickly realized that, for some people, the adventure of life starts off with a ring and leads to greater things. Some don’t care about having wild worldly adventures—and that’s completely OK. It doesn’t make their adventures any less valuable or more mundane. It makes them beautiful. It gives them something to grow into as two people.

Once I understood this, I decided that I would stop being cynical and rolling my eyes every time an overly-joyous couple posted an engagement photo on Facebook. OK, maybe I’ll still be a tad cynical, but still a little less. It’s their life adventure, not mine. Who am I to judge?

I realized that I should redefine what I want my adventure to be and that I should not be scared of that. After all, why would I want to go through life and experience amazing things with no one to share it with? How lonely of an adventure would that be?

Life is an unexpected journey and we sometimes need someone to come along for the ride.  After all, Frodo’s journey would have been nothing without Sam, and that all started with a ring.

So if you’re going to get a ring by spring, just don’t forget to adventure, read books you’ve never read, eat food you’ve never tried, go into the city.  Just know that you’re lucky to take on life with a trusty companion.

So go get that ring by spring and rock it. Don’t let anyone try to tarnish your wedding shine.