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The wedding train has officially arrived. My friends, across all levels, have either recently married, gotten engaged or are ring shopping. And it’s easy to fall into line.

Once, three years ago, I was engaged. I had a beautiful, nearly 2 carat solitaire ring on my finger. The wedding planning was under way, the guest list forming and my future looked bright. We were going to get married, have children and then…well that’s as far as I could see. Problem was, it wasn’t what I really wanted. It wasn’t “me.” And neither was the ring…

Though gorgeous and extremely expensive, my ring felt cold and heavy. A thick platinum band supported a bright, large rock. That rock represented bondage. And the band kept it tethered to my dainty finger. The hardest question I had to answer was…

“Am I ready, for the rest of my, life, to marry this man? Be faithful, loyal, through the good and the bad? To be forever a Mrs. instead of a Miss?”

My answer was eventually a resounding no and we ended our 10 year relationship, our 1.5 year engagement. This year my ex-fiance proposed to his new girlfriend and they have a wedding planned for early 2011. My initial reaction was shock but now I see we just weren’t meant to be. With his and my best friend’s wedding on the horizon I’ve accepted that I’m just not ready yet. And that’s ok. Because one day that ring will slip on my finger and that ring, along with that man, will feel like they’ve never not been there before. Instead of an extension of myself, marriage will be a puzzle piece, completing me in every way I can’t even fathom.