In late 2005, I tried to read Homi Bhabha's theoretical text The Location of Culture. I got about 3/4 of the way through the book before abandoning it. The book was just too difficult for me at the time; I wasn't able to follow Bhabha's labyrinthine writing style, and my knowledge of theory was so rudimentary that I usually didn't understand his references. So I wasn't getting anything out of the book, and I just gave it up, not without feelings of guilt and inadequacy.
Recently I decided that I would try to read The Location of Culture again. I know much more theory now than I did when I initially tried to read the book, and I wanted to see if I would be able to handle it now. There was still a lot of stuff I didn't understand, and Bhabha's theory wasn't quite as useful for my own work as I'd hoped, but in general I found that it was understandable and fairly interesting. It turned out that Bhabha's difficult writing was actually a deliberate stylistic choice and that it led to interesting effects. So it turned out that I was capable of reading the book, and a few minutes ago, I finished it.
I feel like a knight who fought a dragon, got utterly defeated and humiliated, and then came back and slew the dragon. I lost the first skirmish, but I learned from my mistakes and demanded a rematch, and this time I won.
Have you ever had an experience like this?