The Long Way Home


The Long Way Home

This Chapel Talk was delivered on November 3, 2023, in Clark Memorial Chapel.

By Olivia Bourgault ’24

When I was a little kid, I only ever wanted to be one thing — a race car driver. It was anything but short of an obsession. If you showed me any car, I bet you I could have named it.

The thing is, this wasn’t a thought-out dream, as I never considered one of the most important details — actually being good at driving. Although I do not consider myself to be a bad driver, I did manage to fail my driving test twice. I may have backed straight into a tree, or driven on the wrong side of the road, but I did eventually get my license. And even though I’ve hit a parked car, or have blown out my tires multiple times, or even gone off the side of the road into someone’s front yard, I never fail to take the long way home.

Whether that is in driving to my friends’ houses or turning my five-minute drive home from work into a fifteen-minute one, I continuously find myself repeating this pattern. I don’t necessarily love driving. To be honest — most of the time it stresses me out. Yet, I somehow always stretch out my drive home.   

Maybe the point isn’t purely driving from one place to another, with a constant destination in mind. Maybe it’s not going straight home, but rather slowing down, and resisting the urge to speed straight to the ending.

We cross days off calendars and count weeks and hours, but slowing down is never harmful. Trying not to speed through every single aspect of life can be beneficial. Life is not a race track — although if you told my five-year-old self that, I would have begged to differ. Finding comfort in consistency is a good thing because how we spend our days is in fact, how we spend our lives. And there is no harm in hitting pause, whether that is only for a couple of seconds, or for taking the long way home.

I can surely say I will probably never drive race cars, but without this childhood dream, I never would have discovered truly the most important epiphany — that a life full of slowing down and hitting pause can unknowingly lead to a life full of enrichment.

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This story first appeared in the Spring 2024 issue of Pomfret Magazine.

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The Long Way Home

In her Chapel Talk, Olivia Bourgault ’24 reminds us to the long way home.