Friendships are super important to me. Growing up, my biggest fear was always that I'd end up alone (a certain part of me still fears that) and since I was quite shy as a kid that made it more difficult to make friends. I'm still a bit shy around new people but once I get to know someone, I open up completely and become this super social butterfly.
I know what you mean about childhood best friends not being your best friends now and that's okay. People change and they just grow apart. I've grown apart from close friends even while we still lived in the same city, when one moves away it's even more difficult. You just have to accept that it happens, it's not anyone's fault and if want to reconnect, work on making that happen. I grew apart from my best friend from high-school (I was working a lot, she was travelling a lot) but now that she's gonna settle down and I've got a normal work schedule I actually plan on making it my New Years resolution to spend more time with her cause we have that kind of history and love that doesn't go away easily (she's the Grace to my Will).
Currently I'm quite happy with my circle of friends. When I was in a relationship about a year and a half ago, I kind of neglected my friends a bit. It was my first boyfriend (growing up gay in a tiny city in Eastern Europe was not an easy thing, okay?
) so I was spending more and more time with him but when that ended I really re-connected with my friends and now my friends are the most important thing for me - so much that I don't even feel the need of a relationship, to be honest.
What helped me a lot is having certain routines with my friends. So for example, I have a friend from college who I would meet up with quite rarely because of our work schedules so we just made it a tradition to meet up for a "weekend thing" every weekend. It basically involves us getting some food (usually KFC...actually it's always KFC), then getting some coffee and then roaming the bookstores in town.
I got very close to the people I worked with in my former workplace and we would meet up every Thursday for drinks (it started out of a need for us to vent and bitch about our bosses) but now it's dubbed 'Thirsty Thursdays' and we still meet up even though we all work in different places now. If one of us can't make it, we reschedule for a different day - we have a Whatsapp group to coordinate things).
And luckily I work with my best friend so I get to see her way too much for it to be healthy.
My "is this person my best friend" test is basically asking myself "If this person called me in the middle of the night because they're on the toilet and ran out of toilet paper - would I do it?" If the answer is yes, then you're a close friend... or Beyonce.