Lionel Garcia - Cohort 5 Resident Principal

”You can’t always get what you want.. but if you try sometimes, you just

might find.. you get what you need”.


Mic Jagger and Keith Richards wrote a pretty popular single in the late 60’s that keeps replaying

in my brain. As much as I want to spill thousands of words to describe the cohort 5 journey so

far, the only thing that keeps coming to mind is that track. The chorus and song title just seem

fitting..“You can’t always get what you want..” I’m sure you know the rest..For the record I’m only focusing on the metaphor in the chorus of the song and not any of the other lyrics. Otherwise I’m pretty sure I’d be having a different conversation with the higher ups.But the chorus definitely resonated with this OL experience so far.

When I joined the program my goal was to have a significant contribution to the students and

school that I joined right away. Obviously this was a lot of my ego wanting to help in any way I

can. But early on I had the opportunity to gain wisdom on the purpose of this program. My

mentor expressed the emphasis on observing and learning. This was a difficult task for me

given I’ve been used to a certain pace and work ethic that would always support my decision

making. But in this case.. It was constantly absorbing my mentors skills and learning different

methods to become proficient in the Archdiocese. In other words, to be still and learn. This is

still a process for me, but I’m grateful and humbled by the experience. I’m blessed to be in a

program that offers that type of learning. Through this, I’ve gained massive amounts of

knowledge on budgeting and keeping an eye on your funds. Every cent matters. It basically

determines most of your decision making. And the mentor I have is basically a pro. So.. as

much as my expectations were to have all these mental ideas from over the summer come to

fruition- I’ll take this any day. Again, I wanted to contribute more.. But in this case- what was

more important is to get what I need (budget wisdom and tenacious/consistent work ethic from

my mentor). Another connection to the song.

Before I moved to California I used to have these internal dialogue type morning prayers on my

way to work. I was seeking purpose and direction because quite honestly, I just wasn’t happy.

One thing that I would constantly pray was for God “to tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it.

Whatever you need me to do, just show me the way.” When I think about moments of frustration

or anxiety in the last months.. This line or prayer is really becoming a bit more clear in the

present day.

When I moved I wanted to have a clean start with education. Maybe not so much in the

classroom or administration.. But maybe in other departments. But again.. That’s what I wanted.

Fast forward 3 years later from those prayers and I’m back where I left off in a sense. And

although my moments of self doubt pop up.. I think what’s put my mind at ease is learning that

those prayers were answered. Because.. my heart likes to tell me that the chances of having all

3 individuals that I would be constantly working with end up pregnant (and me having to fill in at

their positions) at the same time was not a coincidence. Maybe that was my purpose this year.

To support and (try to)provide anxiety free work environments for these women. To admire the

strength and beauty of the journey that these women are going through. My respect level for all

of them is more than one can describe with words. So, I suppose my wanting of a fresh start

was actually the gain and need to go through this experience. To put others first and learn from

these amazing women. Not quite what I expected.. But.. maybe it’s what I needed.

And yes.. I could go into all of the challenges of 2 different staffs/schools, demographics, issues

etc. But I don’t really want to wallow or critique from this experience so far. I’m blessed. I’m

learning everyday. I have 2 great bosses that are amazing. I’ve learned a lot from them. The

fact that I have TWO, mentors! And a cohort that is simply amazing. But I mean, let’s be real..

I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. I went from having a solid 8 people that I interacted with

on a daily basis over the last two years.. To over 300 (2 schools of students/staff, OL’s) people

in a matter of months. An introvert in extrovert requirements.. Guess we’ll see how it goes. I

could complain.. But..”you can’t always get what you want.. but if you try sometimes, you just

might find.. you get what you need”.

Talk about beating a dead horse.