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Find Your Village

How I Found Support after Moving Away from ‘Home’

When moving to a new area it’s a given that you will miss those that you leave behind, whether that’s friends, family, your job or all the above...you can prepare for these ‘big’ changes. But, it is the small changes and the ones you don’t expect that often leave you blind-sided.

I moved to Northern Virginia in February 2016. In my first few months here I was too preoccupied with the excitement of the move, unpacking and the novelty of exploring my new neighborhood to feel any real homesickness. Even not yet having an American driver’s license and having no friends of my own didn't dampen my enthusiasm for this new place I called home. It wasn’t until I had lived here a couple months that I first experienced a longing for home. I remember standing in the kitchen and being so angry that the tinned tomatoes that I had just opened weren’t like the ones I was familiar with. A wave of loneliness hit me, and the reality that I was miles from ‘home’ sunk in.

Fortunately, I live in a time where with the tap of a button I can video chat my family/friends and quench any homesickness, and apart from the time difference it almost feels like I am still living in the same country as them. Nevertheless, I often feel selfish to have moved and struggle with a sense of guilt for being so far from those I love. I have been absent from many family birthdays, special occasions and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future. The worst of these absences was in May last year when I received a call from England, my dad was critically ill and I was advised to come home if able. Within hours I was on a plane back to England and I spent a sacred week with my dad before he died surrounded by those he loved, having lost his battle with cancer. Unfortunately, two days after his passing I was back at the airport returning to the U.S. I was 36 weeks pregnant and airlines don’t allow you to fly past this time... I missed his funeral. I frequently struggle with the guilt of not being there for him, my mum and brother that day, and for continually not being able to be with my loved ones as much as I would like.

I’ve often been asked if I could go back and change my decision to move here would I. My answer is always No. Whilst moving here has not been without its hardships, I have found friendships here that I cherish, and I found my FIT4MOM village at a time that I desperately needed support. I often take great solace in this quote:

“Everything you need will come to you at the perfect time”

FIT4MOM is unique and there is nothing like it in England. My Village has been a tremendous source of support for me. Following Chloe’s birth, when I was adapting to being a new parent and still struggling with grief for my dad and the guilt of being happy; I was able to lean on my Village. For anyone moving to a new area my advice is to find your Village, whether that’s with FIT4MOM, friends from work, mums from the park or mums from your neighborhood. Find people that support you, who understand you, and make you smile even on days when you’re struggling to hold it together.

**Rebecca Guntharp has been a member of FIT4MOM Lorton/Springfield/Burke/Woodbridge/Kingstowne since August of 2016. She is mom to Chloe (June 2016) and is also one of our Stroller Barre & Stroller Strides Instructors. You can take one of Rebecca’s classes on Thursdays in Kingstowne or on one of the many days she teaches in Springfield.

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