“I hope others understand that those pretty little boxes on Instagram are not my entire life. I am human and struggle with self-love, depression, and anxiety. I hope that people take the time to read my captions and realize I’m trying to share my own story in an authentic way—things beyond the aesthetic of the images. We all have our own stories. We need to work together to find love for ourselves. After all, we are on this journey together.”
Kristle Budinich’s service spouse journey began shortly after she graduated with her Associate of Arts degree and married her airman boyfriend. “I knew very little about what our lives were about to become. I’ve just learned as I’ve gone. I've always taken it one step at a time and been accepting for whatever was in store.” Taking life one step at a time was what got Kristle through an exceptionally challenging period of life.
Realizing her own strength has emboldened Kristle to trust her instincts more over the years. “I have finally learned to slow down and listen to my body. In the past, I didn’t want to slow down, but now I realize that my exhaustion leads to anxiety. With our most recent move, I gave myself grace and time. I didn’t overthink or plan too far ahead.” The grace and time Kristle afforded herself has led to a sweet season of familial bonding. “With this move, I’ve enjoyed seeing us become closer as a couple and as a family. We’ve gone through a ton and we’ve had to learn to lean on each other instead of other family members.”
Hard work and proud service is a family value of the Budinichs, but it is not the only one. “The military does not define our family. We are extremely proud of my husband’s service and thankful for the opportunities we have been given. We love our country, but that’s not everything we have to offer.” What Kristle does offer those around her is strength. “I hope that my legacy is that I’m not only a strong wife and mother, but that I care about those around me. I am not strong just for show. I am strong to support and encourage the community around me.”
To continue reading, grab your pre-order copy of Volume VI here!