Sam Soffes


Posted on

It’s my birthday. The past few days I’ve been thinking a lot about what I was doing around this time last year. What a year it’s been.

This morning, I read my Thirty and Thirty-One blog posts. These usually reflect on my last year some and look forward to the next year. Thirty was mostly about how work stuff isn’t the most important thing and I want to focus on family and hobbies. Thirty-One was mostly about goals for my free time. Needless to say, I didn’t accomplish many goals from that post this year thanks to COVID.

Last year on my birthday (March 2020), I was with some friends in Joshua Tree for the weekend. I remember being shocked to see the paper products aisle being completely empty in Wal-Mart. A guy that passed me in the store made a joke that all of the beer was sold out except Corona and that was his favorite so he didn’t mind. No one was wearing masks. We didn’t know you were supposed to yet. That following Monday, shelter-in-place started. That Tuesday, I started at GitHub from home. So weird.

But the main thing that comes to mind is I was married this time last year. In less than a month from my birthday, I’d find out my ex-wife was cheating on me for most of 2019 and still doing it. That was a rough day.

So in the course of a few weeks, I went from my birthday and life as usual to sheltering-in-place, a new job, being newly divorced, living alone for the first time in a long time, and generally feeling directionless and scared.

I remember riding my motorcycle (she got the car) to Safeway to get groceries for the first time by myself in years in early April. It was a big ordeal to get all of my motorcycle luggage out so I could carry stuff home. I left my mask at home and didn’t realize until I arrived. After going home to get it and coming back, I remember standing in line with my mask on being pretty scared about COVID since it was one of the first times in public since shelter-in-place. The biggest thing that hit me was being alone through this scary time.

But things started to pick up. My coworkers at GitHub were really supportive and understanding. I was enjoying the work I was doing and starting have more ups than downs. I started renovating my house by myself and that has been super fun. Later in the year, I left GitHub and started a company, Along, with my best friend which has been fantastic. (I wrote about more of 2020 here.)

Anyway, all of this to say besides COVID, things were very different for me this time last year. Most of the time, I haven’t thought about it much and have looked towards the future, but it’s been on my mind some this past week.

For Thirty-Two, I’d say I’m looking forward to doing more house projects, weekend trips, house parties, scuba diving, backpacking, and whatever else! It’s going to be so great when things start reopening soon!

A friend recently asked me if I’m happier now than I was this time last year. I said I was in some ways. I’d say I definitely am after thinking about it more. Despite all of the change, I 100% prefer my life today over one year ago.

I want to keep up my positivity and continue to spend my creative energy making things in my free time. I’m very excited for being 32 (after all, it is the last power of 2 I’ll be for quite some time).