Hi, my name is Shalini Verma and I began my Horizon Life a little under two years ago in the Brand Strategy department.
I currently live in central New Jersey and I have about a two-hour commute each way, door-to-door. So essentially, four hours of my day are dedicated to sitting on trains and praying I won’t have to spend more hours on the train because of delays and bad weather. Usually, I have pretty good luck, but you know once it starts snowing, there’s no telling what’ll happen.
I’ve had a ton of people ask me why I choose to live two hours away when there are apartments everywhere in the city. Honestly, while there are a number of factors that influence why I choose to live so far away, one of the more obvious ones being the fact that it saves money. But there’s so much more that comes with living so far out of the city, and the pros end up outweighing the cons.
For one, you get two hours each way to yourself. That’s two hours without having to make small talk, two hours without working, two hours to catch up on a TV show or start reading a book. Working for eight hours (sometimes more) can often cut you off from the real world. You’re so engrossed in what you need to get done that sometimes you won’t even realize there’s a burning building right outside your office. When I’m on the train, I get to catch up on the everything I missed – without interruption.
People also ask about my social life – how do I manage a social life when I need to leave at 8 pm every day? It actually works for the better. Time management is key here because you learn pretty quickly that a lot can happen in two hours. Just the other night I met up with old coworkers. We caught up, ate, drank and I barely spent anything because I was more conscious about how much time I could actually spend with them, therefore, left at a reasonable time with a happy wallet.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried living in the city. I won’t deny, it’s a lot of fun, but living in the city isn’t for everyone. I lived in Chelsea for three months in a sublease and explored the city to its full potential. However, I missed having that disconnect between the office and my personal life. The lines started to blur and I felt like I would leave work, but didn’t really leave the office, you know? It didn’t feel like I was “going home” per say, but just taking a second shift. And I know, that’s what being an adult is all about, but having that disconnect is really important for keeping a work-life balance. I love having a family to go to, and friends to meet up with at home and there isn’t much that could convince me to give any of that up.
Thankfully, Horizon is also very accommodating when it comes to living outside of the city – especially my team, who’s always been very understanding when trains are delayed or I need to handle personal matters (like voting!) that can only be done at home. Horizon’s also quickly become my second home, which is always an added bonus when it comes to living so far away. I have a wonderful and supportive team and all the amenities I could ask for.
So for me, Horizon Life means… having a home away from home.