They say that your teenage years are your most formative. I don’t know if that’s a fact or not, but I remember it being said somewhere. I’ve since found an article that I’ve linked above, but throughout my whole life, I was told that the years from 12-19 are the years where the human mind is most impressionable; and that from your 20’s and 30’s and into adulthood, while you’re exploring the world around you, your ideas are more or less and mostly fully formed and set. That’s not to say that you can’t ever change or do a 180 later on in life if you so choose to do so. But by and large, the majority of people develop most of their values, thoughts, morals, ethics and who they want to be, well before they turn 20. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? Dunno, it’s just something that I’ve been thinking and surmising about. And in relation to this blog about influential artists and what Jon and I listen to these days; if we follow that logic, then Jon and myself, who were ‘sheltered’ and listening to only Christian music before in the 2000’s, shouldn’t even be writing this blog. We should be so dogmatic and set in our views about music… but we aren’t. We’ve allowed God to shape us and mould us, while we listen to uplifting, inspiring, and thought-provoking music, not necessarily by Christian artists; all the while holding onto our faith and keeping close our non-negotiables in the faith and what we believe to be primary issues in the doctrines of Christianity. We’ve grown in our love and appreciation for artists like Keith Urban, Little Mix, Selena Gomez, Maren Morris, Goo Goo Dolls, John Mayer, Jackie Evancho, John Legend, Carrie Underwood, Owl City, Delta Goodrem, Avril Lavigne, Thomas Rhett, Lindsay Ell, The Shires, Taylor Swift, Beyonce, and most recently Mickey Guyton and Kylie Minogue, to name a few. We’ve discovered and realised that the divide between Christian music and mainstream music is becoming blurrier and blurrier (and that can be seen as a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view!), and we’ve understood much more throughout these three years about music, God, life, death, the hard questions and everything else… than I guess any other time in my life. I’m sure Jon can testify to that. Yet if we are to believe that article above that our teenage years are the years in which we learn the most, then why am I at 32, announcing that the last 3 years have been the time in my life when I have learnt the most, predominately through this blog series about influential artists?