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Introductions from Janine

Hey, everyone!


wave hello GIF


You may have seen my name pop up on the Weekly Wellbeing post, but I haven’t properly introduced myself – how rude of me! I’m Janine, and I’m super excited to have joined the ReachOut team this week as an online community moderator.  It’s my second day today, and I’m so impressed and inspired by the community that you guys have created here – you can tell it’s a pretty special space.




A little bit about me:

I’m passionate about mental health and wellness, and I’m also a huge believer in the power of online communities to support, empower, and build resilience. I’ve been a part of a lot of different online communities over the years, from when I was in my teens, to more recently as a parent of young kids. I know that I’ve found a lot of support, friendships and virtual hugs over the years that have helped me through a lot of life’s ups and down. 


I have a degree in psychology and health policy, and I’ve worked in a range of roles , from research into group treatment programs for disabled clients, to research and support for youth mental health, community services and disability, and working to support autistic kids and teens in the community. I also worked as a cinema manager for many years ( I didn't pay to see a movie for 6 years!) , and had a side gig playing in a saxophone quartet.  I love music but don’t play as much as I’d like these days , especially now I have 2 very busy kids who keep my hands full!



Image result for success graph meme"


I saw that someone posted this in the forums awhile ago, and I love it so much – for me, my life has been full of twists and turns, I first started uni at 17, stopped, started, worked in a bunch of different jobs and finally worked out what I truly wanted to do at 30 - not what I thought life would look like when I was 18, but I don’t regret any of it, and I'm really a huge advocate for people taking time to work out what their passion is, and knowing that there's so many roads to 'success'- and it's OK to change your mind! This song pops into my head sometimes, it's old now but catchy... 


Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life...
the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't


Definitely rings true for me! 


Other things I love are cats (we have 2 crazy rescue cats), succulents, cooking, Netflix, podcasts, hiking, and getting out to live music whenever I can.

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Self care is something I have to remember to prioritise when life gets crazy - my favourite self-care activity is getting some music or a podcast on my headphones, and heading outside to walk or jog in nature somewhere, especially if I can see the water. 


I love to travel, and have a massive list of places I’d love to go to! My most recent trips have been to Japan and the USA . Japan  is honestly one of the most amazing places I’ve been to in my life. So beautiful, incredible culture and history, and the food was INSANE! I'd wanted to see Tokyo ever since I saw Lost in Translation, and sometimes I had to pinch myself. So surreal, and a really beautiful country to travel around. 


Image result for japan gif"


I am feeling super awkward chatting about myself, so I'll leave it there! I'd love to learn a bit more about you all - favourite music, dream holiday destination, what you're passionate about, favourite movie, anything!   And I'm really looking forward to getting to know all of you in the community HeartHeart

Re: Introductions from Janine

Hi @Janine-RO! Nice to 'meet' you! Smiley Happy


You sound like you've had such an interesting road to joining the team. Smiley Happy I agree that there are many avenues to 'success' and that it's okay to change careers along the way.
Like you, I also have a psychology degree and love watching Netflix.
I'd love to go to Japan too! I studied Japanese in high school and I was meant to go on an exchange program, but my parents told me not to go. Smiley Sad

Re: Introductions from Janine

hi @Janine-RO and welcome! its lovely to meet you!
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: Introductions from Janine

Hey @WheresMySquishy , it's nice to meet you Smiley Happy I highly recommend a Japan holiday one day - my FB keeps reminding me that it was 3 years ago exactly that I was there. This time 3 years ago we were in Hiroshima, and hanging out with extremely friendly deer on a day trip to Mijayima. 


That's awesome that you studied Japanese, I found that people in Japan LOVE it when you give speaking in Japanese a go, even when you're really bad at it (like I am). I have a friend who's lived there for 10 years who is fluent now and I'm super jealous Smiley Wink 

Re: Introductions from Janine

Hi @Janine-RO! Nice to meet you! Smiley Happy


I love what you said about different roads to success! I think that's a really important point to emphasize, especially to young people who may be overwhelmed with the amount of options available. Right now, I (think I) know for sure I'd like to go into psychology... but it has taken a lot longer to get my degree than I expected, and I think I might be changing which areas I want to focus on a lot in the future... but that's okay! 

I also love to travel! I think at the moment my dream destination would be Germany, or a long trip across Europe (I've never been!). Japan also looks amazing. We learnt Japanese in primary school and all I can remember is how count to about 19 and write my name... I guess that'd be somewhat useful! 😂

Re: Introductions from Janine

Thanks @Hozzles ! 


I agree - I think there can be so much pressure on teenagers to feel like they know exactly what to do with their life/ choose the 'right' degree/ go into law or medicine if they score well even if they're not passionate about it, the list goes on - the pressure can feel immense, but there's so many people out there who've changed paths, tried things, and made mistakes along the way. 


It took me much longer to get my degree as well, and I changed paths several times. So many people change direction, and I think you learn so much about yourself in your twenties and beyond, that it's totally OK to have a winding road.  I'll never forget one of my favourite lecturers in undergrad - he spent many years as a taxi driver before doing a psychology degree and then a PhD, he was a social psych lecturer and was honestly one of the best lecturers I've ever had! 


I really want to go back to Europe one day too, I've been to France and the UK but there's so many countries I'd love to see. Russia and Germany are on the top of my list I think! A white Xmas there is totally on my bucket list (even though I hate being cold and end up wearing a billion layers and looking ridiculous in winter)


Image result for germany winter gif"


Re: Introductions from Janine

@Janine-RO So nice to emeet you!! Thank you for being so open about your background and how you got here Smiley Happy


Finding the right career path can take time, I know for me I have had a few different ideas, and studied a couple different topics at TAFE and now finally feeling content in accounting/accounts – now to do more study Smiley Tongue


CATS! I also have 2 cats, (My 3rd re-homed himself) – What kind of cats? Boy/girl? Colours? I must knowww!!! Smiley Tongue

Here are my 2 pur babies Heart

My girl with cobwebs on her face and the KING of the Water Bottle! Smiley LOL



I have a small succulent garden, which I keep forgetting to remove from the sun – it’s looking a little sun-burnt oops haha I kinda have a brown thumb!


We reflected on the joys of 2019

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Introductions from Janine

@Bee  your cats are adorable! 


Mine are both rescue cats, and are both pure white which is a bit unusual. They're both girls, from different litters but were fostered together, so they're foster sisters I guess? They both used to be quite small, but one of them has adjusted a bit too well to life as an inside cat and is now a bit chunky, we probably need to put them on a diet now TBH Smiley Wink 


One of the conditions of adopting them was that we keep them inside only, but they're obsessed with watching birds and stuff in our garden and go absolutely nuts if little lizards make it inside Smiley Wink 


This isn't mine but looks a lot like one of them! 


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That's awesome that you feel like you've found the right path for you, I started in law (definitely not the right fit for me!) and ended up here, with lots of jobs along the way. I think they say that most young people will have at least 5 different careers in their lives now anyway?? 


Re: Introductions from Janine

@Janine-RO OMG pure white! SO adorable! Heart
Naaaww foster sister cats! I love it!
haha mine were tiny too, but now adult cats and bigger! My male needs a diet - he can't walk away from the food until he's moved by us or until it's all gone, we think it was because he was the runt of his liter and struggled to fight for milk from his mumma.

Yes they love anything that moves!


We reflected on the joys of 2019

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Introductions from Janine

That sounds a lot like our chunky kitty - when we got her, she'd had a rough start as a stray, and the vet at the rescue said that they didn't think she'd ever reach her full size because she had been so unwell as a kitten. 


Now she's absolutely massive - and her foster sister is really petite, they eat exactly the same food, so I think she just pigs out and spends too much time laying around living a life of leisure Smiley Wink 


Your cats are adorable, I love black and white kitties, my cat when I was a teenager was a super pretty black and white girl.