The gulf between my life at home and elsewhere continues to widen.

"Home" is a pretty strong term, but it's where I sleep most of the time: I don't know what to do with myself here, so I avoid most contact with my dad and stepmother, preferring to stay in my room or go out during the day. I only venture out to play in the kitchen or watch TV at night, when they're asleep. I just don't have much to say to either of them, though god knows that I'd like to. In return, they have just as little, if even less, to say to me.

To them, I'm standoffish and picky at best, downright antisocial and demanding at worst, and it's so weird to juxtapose that with how my friends would describe me: painfully shy, insecure and awkward with small talk, but opinionated, warm, funny, loving and even lovable for all that. All the same behaviors, but placed in different contexts. I can handle that, but when one context dictates that I'm to be barely acknowledged, while the other gives me all the more affection for it, I can't help but think that that one half of my life needs to be changed.

It's hotter than hell today, and I'm nigh-on incoherent. But my dad and his wife barely even invite me to eat dinner with them anymore, and I can be either a daughter or a roommate, but not both. I'm saving up to move cross-country, to a place where I have a good, solid network of friends and supporters, a place that I just visited and where I was the happiest I've been in ages, but it seems more difficult with every small paycheck. With what I'm making now, it would take me almost three weeks to pay for even the cheapest rent in the smallest apartment with the most roommates I can find; I'm working as many hours as my managers will schedule me, and this is the only job around here for me that will pay more than minimum wage. I'm working that and going to school a couple nights a week and selling off the better part of my life on eBay, but my goal of being out of this house (and state) for good by the end of August looks more and more unattainable.

(Yeah, everyone was young and poor once. That doesn't make it any easier, though.)

I need my own Independence Day.