September 2018 Writer \/\/ Janelle Morrison\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Photography \/\/ Courtesy of The Center for the Performing Arts After more than two decades since the original release, Melissa Etheridge is enthralling audiences, once again, on the Yes, I Am 25th Anniversary Tour. Her breakthrough fourth album, Yes I Am, included the Top 10 single \u201cI\u2019m the Only One\u201d and the Grammy-winning \u201cCome to My Window.\u201d Known for her confessional lyrics and gritty, soulful vocals, this Grammy\u00ae and Academy Award winner has been one of rock\u2019s most respected performers and songwriters for decades. Etheridge\u2019s many hits have included \u201cBring Me Some Water" and \u201cI Want to Come Over.\u201d Don\u2019t miss An Evening with Melissa Etheridge: Yes I Am 25th Anniversary Tour at The Palladium, Tuesday, September 25 at 7:30 p.m. Visit thecenterfortheperformingarts.org for more information. It\u2019s been 30 years since you left Leavenworth, KS, for California and first stepped out onto the music scene. What are your immediate thoughts as you reflect back? First of all, it went by so doggone fast. The first thought that I have is \u201cWow, it really slipped by.\u201d It was something that I had been waiting so long for, and you never really know when you\u2019re in it and that it\u2019s happening until you stop and go, \u201cWhoa, that was 25 years ago. Holy cow!\u201d That\u2019s the first feeling that I get. People would ask me when my first album came out 30 years ago, \u201cWhere do you see yourself in 20 or 30 years?\u201d and I\u2019d always say, \u201cI hope that I\u2019m still making music, that people want to come see me and that I\u2019m a piece of their life.\u201d And that is exactly what I have now. People come to the shows and share their lives. They have been putting my music into their lives for 25 years now, and that means a lot. It\u2019s a real relationship that you just don\u2019t get from an audience until you\u2019ve put the years in. You won two Grammys in \u201892 and \u201893 and won an ASCAP Songwriter of the Year in \u201896. Knowing that those accolades may have meant something different to you at those times, what do you think about those moments now at this point in your career? I see the way this industry is built, and for a while there, I was in the nexus of it. It\u2019s something that when I was in it, I didn\u2019t really know that I was in it. I was at the top of the mountain. And it\u2019s good to be there, to experience it and leave your mark, but you can\u2019t live there. You can\u2019t stay there. A lot of people try to, and it eats them up. You have to breathe and move on and do things. It\u2019s something that you remember, but you have to move on and grow from it. You have to have different meanings. I went on and had children, and my life has a very different meaning. I love every element of it, and I love my music \u2013 It\u2019s a huge part of my life, but it is not my whole life. I think that\u2019s what keeps me sane. Rather than ask you to define success, I would like to ask you to define purpose and how you continue to live your purpose. Whew \u2026 yeah. I think a lot of people become fatalists, and they think that there is some \u201cpurpose\u201d or fate that has been predestined for them. And they either live it or they\u2019re not living it, but I don\u2019t quite subscribe to that. I believe that our purpose is to create in this incredible reality set-up that we have here. I think that we are given all of these gifts, such as perception and possibility, and it is up to us to create love or we create fear. In every moment and everything we do, we choose one of those, and that creates our path. Then in that path, you just constantly create. My purpose is to create and to create as much love as possible \u2013 as much love for myself, music and for others. In previous interviews, you have spoken about one fateful night in Ottawa, Canada. You have talked about looking at the universe, wondering what was next in your life, and later that night, you found a lump in your breast. You released \u201cThe Awakening\u201d after your diagnosis. What would you say now to people who are fighting the good fight about how to get through a diagnosis of cancer or other diseases? I would say that if or when you get a diagnosis of a breakdown of a system in your body or a disease, it\u2019s all in how you perceive it. We all have an opportunity to look at health and disease in many ways. You can look at it like it happened \u201cto me\u201d or \u201cI caught it\u201d or \u201cI got this\u201d or \u201cMy genes are faulty.\u201d We have an opportunity to look at it and say, \u201cI have a responsibility in this. I have the reasonability, not only in the food that I eat and the actions that my body takes but also the thoughts that I think. Am I thinking thoughts that are making me healthy, or am I thinking thoughts that are making me sick?\u201d There is so much control that we actually have over our own health, and we just don\u2019t realize it. It can be a real journey to getting to that realization. I\u2019m 14 years cancer-free now, and I define my journey in a certain way and with a set of beliefs that I have. A lot of people don\u2019t believe what I believe, and that\u2019s okay too, but every year that goes by, it proves to me that I\u2019m making the right choices for myself. Look back over the last three decades and at the triumphs and trials of your career. When you look at the next generations of singer\/songwriters, do you feel that it\u2019s easier or more difficult for them nowadays? Do you feel that they are braver and bolder than artists were in the \u201880s and \u201890s? I don\u2019t think the younger generations are any more or less brave or committed. I think each generation is presented with its own issues. I have children in this next generation. They range from 11-21. I know how they see the world, and they do not see the divides that are leftover and deep in some of us in our generation that permeated through the \u201860s, \u201870s and \u201880s. I do think the younger generations are smarter, and I always think that we\u2019re moving up, always towards a better situation. Diversity is here, and you can\u2019t turn it back now. This will be your third visit to The Palladium. Was there something in particular that you really enjoyed about it that\u2019s bringing you back, or are we just that great of an audience for you? I do remember it is a lovely place to play, and I think Indiana is a good place to bring people together and sing. I look forward to being there. You will hear all of the tracks , and I am planning on doing at least one of the bonus tracks that have been added back. \u00a0What\u2019s next for you? Are you back in the studio, or what\u2019s the plan after this tour? I\u2019ve been making a new album, and it should be ready for release at the end of the year\/beginning of next year. Let\u2019s just say 2018 has been a very inspirational year, and we\u2019re only halfway through.