Teresa Davidson, a 57-year-old Real Change vendor, moved from Aberdeen, Washington, to Seattle around 2004. Her former husband of 21 years ended their marriage unexpectedly, leaving her without a plan.
“Long story short, we lived in Aberdeen. He didn’t like where I was coming from but I didn’t do anything...I went to work one day and when I came back he was gone.” she said. “It was terrible.”
It wasn’t long before she found new love, though, and a new start.
“I met my boyfriend down here. Then I went to Tent City for the first time,” recalled Davidson. “I think it was Tent City 3. Then I went to Angeline’s [Women’s Day Center].”
As a military kid, she was accustomed to starting over.
“My dad was in the Army so we moved all over,” Davidson said. “I was born in Moses Lake and then I moved all over. I moved to Aberdeen and Elma.”
She’s also no stranger to loss.
“I have a twin sister named Diane. She’s the only sister I have left and she’s over at Ocean Shores,” Davidson said. “I had two other sisters. One of them passed away 2 years ago and the other passed away March of this year.”
Real Change came into Davidson’s life back in 2012 through a friend’s recommendation.
As a vendor, she’s heard a common refrain from passers-by: That instead of working selling papers, they may as well be begging.
“There’s this one lady that told me to stop selling the paper because it was stupid,” said Davidson. “She said, ‘Maybe if you stop selling these papers people will give you money.’ Other customers might not buy the paper when they hear her say that. It hurts my feelings and I get emotional and I start crying.”
When asked how she deals with negative encounters, Davidson said, “I take a walk somewhere so I won’t be around people and avoid any drama. I get stressed out when I argue with people that I don’t get along with.”
Davidson says the negativity can’t get her down, though.
“If I want to sell the paper, I will and she can’t stop me,” she stated.
After all, she’s survived a lot worse — and she knows that a few bad apples don’t mean the whole bunch is rotten. At the age of 13, she was bitten by a horse. She recalled this incident while chuckling.
“I love horses; I love them to death,” shared Davidson.
“We went to the horse races and we walked around. I didn’t know that the horse was wild, I pat it and he bit my hand! I never stopped loving horses after that, though.”
When I asked her if there’s anything else she wants the world to know about her, Davidson answered, “I’m a good person and I am an honest person.”
Teresa is one of 300 active vendors selling Real Change. Each week a different vendor is featured. View previous vendor profiles.
Check out the full Aug. 22 - Aug. 28 issue.
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