Julie sweeps a brush of blue in her hair, folds the strand into silver foil and then grabs another piece for the purple.

Murielle saw it on Pinterest, strands of color highlights on the ends of shiny locks. We both thought it looked pretty. She decided – after a failed attempt herself- to have it done professionally before going back to school.

I watch my daughter graduate into hair color and remember how my first time came in a spray bottle of Sun-In. It turned my hair gold. But gold is kind of like blond, and it seemed more becoming than mousy brown. I never thought about blue and purple.

As I swivel around and look out the window at the swimming pool across the street, I think about our crazy road trip conversation just a few weeks ago. How my son used a word in a sentence that revealed he didn’t know the true definition. That led to browsing the urban dictionary and belly laughter. Laughter that kept us awake between hours twelve and thirteen in the car.

But two words, they still haunt me. We seem to use hipster and mainstream now more in dinner conversations and on car rides. They’re like flint for the fire that burns inside my mind.

I grew up slathering baby oil over my pale skin on the first muggy day of summer in the Midwest. Lay next to my friends on beach towels in tall grass and cooked myself rare.  Using Sun-In and sacrificing flawless skin to be tan are just two examples of how I thought the ticket to happiness came from being like everyone else, settling for mainstream.

Then I gave birth to a daughter who values being different.  A confident, artistic, I don’t need to follow the crowd to feel good about myself different.

And when I started creating art and taking risks, God revealed a door in the house of my soul that I didn’t even know existed. Because sometimes using the same door to follow the crowd becomes a habit, not a call.

I admire the hipsters in Urban Outfitters donning masterpieces of color on their arms. Read the words of her and her and her and they challenge me to move away from tired thinking.

Those unafraid to share their unique voice among the chorus of the same, they give me courage to find my voice. It’s why I need, not just want, to travel and experience different culture. It’s why I feel trapped like a prisoner in places where everything sounds the same, looks the same, and reads the same.

It’s why I’m smiling about her blue and purple hair and wishing I had the courage, as she does, to reveal the hipster of who I am on the inside.

This girl of mine, she’s quietly teaching me how to be brave by being herself.

Do you find it hard to find your authentic voice among the crowds?

Linking with God Bumps, WLWW, Walk With Him Wednesday, Life in Bloom, Thought Provoking Thursday.